Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Ain – June 22, 2018

Shabbat Shalom! In this Torah portion, Chukkat, God instructs Moses and Aaron regarding the red heifer. Miriam, who is the sister of Moses and Aaron, dies. Moses hits a rock to bring forth water rather than speaking to it. At the end of the portion, Aaron dies.
Shabbat evening services are at 6:15 pm and Saturday morning services are at 9:15 am.
Candle lighting is at  8:12 pm.
Thought question: It is in this week’s Torah portion that Moses strikes the rock, instead of speaking to the rock, as God had commanded. How do we avoid “losing our cool” especially when we are in places of leadership?
Summer might be here….but it is time to plan for the fall!
By now you should have received information about the High Holidays at SPS! If you have any questions about High Holiday seats please reach out to Harriet Janover at or call her at 212-593-3300
Don’t forget to register your child(ren) for religious school! Click here for the forms.
BE AN SPS AMBASSADOR! Do you know someone who is looking to be a part of our synagogue community? Make sure they look no further! Connect them with us and we would be happy to talk about the wonderful opportunities here at SPS. If there is someone you would like me to reach out to, please send me their contact information.
Thoughts on the zero-tolerance policy in the US and ways we can help:
Welcoming the stranger is the most often repeated mitzvah in the Torah. We are told no less than 36 times to be kind to the stranger for we were strangers. As members of the Jewish community we trace our story back to moments that include our servitude in Egypt where we were referred to as insect and vermin. In the more recent past, we know that our community was traumatized and separated, even if everything being done was “legal.” Laws don’t make something right and referring to families as infesting our country today is not how we should be speaking about others. As you know, over the past several weeks, the current administration enacted a zero-tolerance policy thereby separating parents and children at the border. This inhumane response to the challenging and of course complex issue of immigration, border control, and security has created the situation where even if parents and children are no longer being separated, there are thousands of children that are unaccounted for in this country. They are being “shipped” to all different cities, including NY and NJ. People have asked how to help and we must. Please note: This is not a partisan issue. This isn’t a political issue. From the left to the right we have seen religious leaders, law makers, and first ladies from both parties stand up and speak out.
Here are some suggestions on how to help:
Connect with RAICES
Connect with Council Member Mark Levine’s office. They are looking for lawyers, teachers, and social workers to help with children that are in NYC.
Here is the sermon I delivered last shabbat about this issue
Here is the letter that was sent from the JCPA-signed by a multitude of religious and national Jewish organizations, representing the left to the right in our religious communities.
Here is a reflection from the editors of The Jewish Week
Let’s us look back on this moment and be able to say that we stood up in the face of injustice.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Ain