Parshat Bo

January 31, 2009 6 Shevat, 5769
A Weekly Discussion about the Fundamentals of Jewish Prayer By Rabbi Brahm Weinberg – Rabbinic Intern

Torah Artscroll, 340 Hertz, 248 Haftorah Artscroll, 1151 Hertz, 263
Times Candle lighting Mincha Hashkama Minyan Parsha Shiur Youth Main Minyan Beit Midrash Gemorah Shiur Mincha Shabbat Ends Sunday, February 1, Mon., Thurs., Tues., Wed., Fri., Second Shacharit Minyan (Daily) Mincha (week of February 1) Late Ma’ariv Mon., - Thurs., 4:52 pm 4:55 pm 8:00 am 8:30 am 8:30 am 9:00 am 9:15 am 3:45 pm 4:45 pm 6:01 pm 7:30 am 8:30 am 6:35 am 6:45 am 7:45 am 5:05 pm 8:15 pm

This inspiring article about tefillah is sponsored by David and Diane Rein in memory of Diane’s mother, Helene M. Fink z”l. Issue # 30 – Kriat Shma (Part IX) As we have seen in the last few issues of the Tefilla Digest, interpreting the words “Hashem Echad,” “G-d is One” in the first verse of the shma is complicated. We have offered a number of interesting approaches thus far. In Issue #29, we reviewed the position of the Ibn Ezra and other medieval commentators who presented the Doctrine of Exclusivity to explain “Hashem Echad” in the shma: G-d is the only G-d and there are no others besides Him. This is certainly consistent with descriptions of G-d’s oneness in the Torah and it is certainly comprehensible to us. What remains unexplained according to this view is what we believe about that

One G-d. It doesn’t explain to us how it could be that there is a being who is beyond time and space and can incorporate all of the “opposites” that seem to manifest themselves in His behavior in the world: Din (strict judgment) and Rachamim (mercy), Good and Evil, Anger and Patience, Reward and Punishment etc… There is something lacking in the exclusivity doctrine that leaves us wanting to know more, leaves us believing that there is something more special about the word “Echad” than just telling us there are no other G-ds.

of “Hashem Echad” is summarized (Based on his Mishne Torah as well as Commentary on the Mishna in Masechet Sanhedrin) by other rabbis in the 2nd of the 13 “ani maamin” statements of faith said by some at the end of the morning prayers as follows: I believe with perfect faith that G-d is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His. He alone is our G-d He was, He is, and He will be.

There are four aspects to the Rambam’s position on “Echad”: G-d is our only G-d (exclusivity – like Ibn Ezra) G-d is Eternal It is for this reason and others G-d is One (unity) that the medieval commentators G-d’s unity is unique began to elaborate on the (uniqueness) Doctrine of Exclusivity and say that the Oneness of G-d as Exclusivity is clear (saying we mentioned in the shma is not don’t believe that other beings are G-d). just about exclusivity, is not just a statement of monotheism Eternality (saying that G-d always against polytheism, but also connotes unity and uniqueness. was and always will be existent) We have already mentioned in is also clear although Issue #27 that this is the view incomparable to anything we know. adopted by the Rambam. However, it was only However, what does it meant to mentioned there briefly and requires a much fuller say that G-d is One and that His explanation. unity is unique? The Rambam’s understanding Unity of G-d certainly connotes

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Next Shabbat - Be– Shallach Candle lighting Mincha 5:01 pm 5:05 pm

Kiddush is sponsored by Great Neck Synagogue

26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck, NY 11023 (516) 487-6100

Shabbat Announcements, Bo 5769

numerical unity: G-d is One and He is not two. We are familiar with this concept of unity from our worldly affairs as well and it is not unique to G-d. For example, we know that there is only one species in the world called humankind and not two. We know that when we are holding a dollar bill in our hand it is only one bill and not two bills etc… However, G-d’s unity is also unique, it is much more than the numerical unities cited in the preceding paragraph. It is a unity that is hard for us to understand because there is nothing like it in our world for us to relate to. It is a G-dly quality that is His alone. When we say that there is only one species called humankind (as mentioned above) we are saying that the unity of humankind is a unity of collectivity: It is one overarching unity that encompasses many different human beings. G-d’s unity is not the unity of collectivity, the unity of all different things coming together in to one. G-d is “simply” one and is not the collectivity of many different things. When we say the dollar bill in our hand is one and not two we are going one step beyond the unity of collectivity because that dollar bill is not a collection of different things that are called one whole like humankind, but it is actually one solid piece of paper. However, even the unity of that dollar bill is still not as unique as the unity of G-d. The unity of the dollar bill is the unity of an aggregate. Each dollar bill which is one entity, which is a unity in itself, can still be broken down in to its component parts all of which came together to meld in to this new substance which is now one. Every bill is made of what used to be thousands of paper fibers, ink, and glue and are now just called a dollar bill. Each paper fiber is made of millions of atoms which themselves can be further divided or broken down. G-d’s unity is not like this at all. G-d is One not because He is the aggregate of many things combined to form something new. G-d is One and cannot be divided in to any component parts. According to the Rambam, it is all of this and more that is incorporated in to those words “Hashem Echad” that we recite in the shma: G-d is exclusively our G-d, He is

eternal, and he is One and not made of any component parts. He cannot be divided, and His unity is unlike any unity that is in this world. While this is all very complex and esoteric and we may not understand all of what it means right now, it is still worth just knowing about it, thinking about it, and looking in to it because it is one of the pillars of the Jewish faith. Thought to Ponder One of the essential ramifications of this discussion of Divine Unity amongst the medieval philosophers is the issue of Divine attributes. Many of them conclude that if G-d is really a unique and complete unity which cannot be broken down or separated in to parts then one cannot ascribe any attributes to G-d because any of them would be limiting to this concept of the unity of the Divine.

Great Neck Goes Green
Water bottles are made from plastic, which is made from oil that is a nonrenewable energy source, and increases CO2 emission. The water in plastic bottles is typically shipped across the country or world and it safety is no better regulated -- in fact, in most cases less well regulated -- than good old tap water. Ever wonder where most of those plastic water bottles go that you knock back from every day? Into landfills, where they live on and on and on and on. Instead drink filtered water which you can install yourself onto your water faucet, available at any Home Depot. You will save hundreds of dollars, and eliminate the plastic bottle glut in the landfills. Save resources by drinking from a refillable, stainless steel Bottle when you are on the go. It is safe; it is durable; and it does not alter the taste of the contents. Purchase a stainless steel bottle with the “Great Neck Goes Green” logo on the bottle for $10-$15 at: id=67<%20 action_view_more.php?id=67>

Great Neck Synagogue Shabbat Activities Program

Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Shalom Axelrod, Assistant Rabbi Brahm Weinberg, Rabbinic Intern Dr. Ephraim Wolf ,z”l, Rabbi Emeritus Zeev Kron, Cantor Eleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor Emeritus Mark Twersky, Executive Director Howard Silberstein, President Harold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board

"GREEN TIP OF THE WEEK is part of an education series to reduce our carbon output. As Jews we have a responsibility to ourselves and future generations to sustain our environment from the global scorching that has already begun. We are experiencing global warming due to over industrialization, pollution and carbon emissions in the air. We need to integrate education, action, and advocacy and to connect this to Jewish tradition, and place this within a larger series of goals. Our goal must be a healthy and sustainable world for all its inhabitants. It means acting to slow the damage and then steadily working to reform our environment."

Sisterhood Couples Night Out: Saturday Evening, February 21, 8 pm
Sisterhood of Great Neck Synagogue will be holding a Couples Night Out on Saturday evening, February 21, 2009 at CUE BAR, located at the corner of Bell Blvd. and Northern Blvd. in Bayside. The evening will feature a dairy meal, games and live music. The cost per couple will be $54.00 prepaid. Price at the door will be $60.00

For reservations please call the Synagogue office: 516-487-6100. Checks are to be made out to GNS Sisterhood. For information please contact event chairs. Farla Frumkin, Cindy Ludwig, or Sara Feldschriber (487-1468)

WITHIN OUR FAMILY Mazal Tov to Yifat & Zachary Mittleman on the birth of their son. Mazal Tov also to Rona & Myles Mittleman on the birth of their grandson. SUNDAY BREAKFAST Mazal Tov to Norma & Mel Breite on the birth of their Sunday Breakfast is sponsored by Tina & Phil Machnikoff in memory of his father William Machnikoff. grand-daughter, born to their children Rebecca & Howard Hochster. GNS PARSHA DISCUSSION GROUP Mazal Tov to Zahava & Alf Slonim on the birth of their As a result of several requests, GNS has created a google group grandson, born to their children Yael Slonim & Jack Nahmod. where members can post their questions about the parsha and
RABBI REISMAN SATURDAY NIGHT TELECAST In the Weinstein Torah & Technology Center Saturday evening 7:30pm, participate in a discussion with the Rabbis and other members about the weekly Torah reading. In order to join the group, send an email to Looking forward to hearing from you. RABBI AXELROD MONDAY & WEDNESDAY NIGHT CLASS Monday Night Contemporary Halacha will resume next Monday on February 2nd. Wednesday Night Parsha and Pizza will resume this Wednesday January 28th. SISTERHOOD MEETING February 3, 8pm: GNS Sisterhood Meeting in the Braun Youth Center to discuss and plan upcoming events. We welcome your attendance and look forward to seeing you there! WOMEN’S TEFILA Celebrate Tu B’Shevat with a guest lecture by Dahlia Klein, topic: “Thoughts on being Jewish and Being Green.” February 7th, Shabbat afternoon, 4pm, followed by mincha. SISTERHOOD TU B’SHEVAT SEDAR Sisterhood is sponsoring a Women’s Tu B’Shevat Sedar on Monday evening, February 9th at 7:30pm, at the home of Margery and Barry Libin. You will enjoy a sumptuous array of fruits, foods, and wines and learn special insight into the brachot with Morah Chaya Adler Poretsky. Enjoy an evening of learning and song. Please reserve: 466-7336 or Donation: $12 per person. UPCOMING MEN’S CLUB EVENTS Feb. 22– Talk by Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman on: “The DNA Connection– Modern Jews and the Ancient Hebrews” with power-point slide presentation. March 17– Talk by Dr. Stu Greenstein (Professor of Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine) on the “Medical and Halachic side of Kidney Transplants” with donors and recipients in attendance. March 22– The annual Rabbi Dialogue, held at Temple Israel. May 6– Talk by Michael Tuchfield, Commentator and correspondent Israel TV2 News—The Knesset Channel 99 SCOPE The deadline for all articles and advertisements for the Pesach Scope is Monday, Feb. 23rd. We strongly encourage our synagogue members to become a scope sponsor in honor, or in memory of a loved one for $36. Please submit all Scope material to synagogue office, or email it to GNS LITTLE LEAGUE Applications for Little League are available in the Synagogue Office. Please submit to the office by the February 1st deadline. Season opener is April, 5th. Payment must accompany the application. SAVE THE DATE The 57th Annual Combined Sisterhood of Great Neck Ladies Night Out will be held at Temple Beth El on Thurs., April 30th at 6pm. Delicious hor d’orves, a boutique with many vendors, an exciting program, great raffle prizes, and wonderful desserts, catered by Shop Delight. The Sisterhood of GNS is proud to participate in this community event. There is no charge for our paid-up Sisterhood members but we strongly encourage you to be an event sponsor for $36. Reservations are required. Please call the synagogue office 487-6100 or email for further information. In conjunction with UJA for this event, we will be collecting personal care and toiletry items to donate to families in need. LATE MINYAN We need your help in maintaining our weeknight 8:15pm minyan for maariv. Please volunteer for one night a week and help make sure that those who need to say kaddish have a minyan. To volunteer for the late maariv minyan, please go to our website and fill out the online form at: Thank you for your help, we’re counting on you! SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Great Neck Friends of Shalva presents Saturday Night Live. A dinner and Comedy club benefit for the Children’s Center in Jerusalem featuring Comedian Yisrael Campbell Sat., Jan. 31st at 8:30pm at the home of Corinne & Joe Franco 17 Gateway Drive. RSVP at 212-725-0900. FYI The Victim Services Program of the Beth Israel Social Work Department is looking for dedicated and responsible Orthodoxed women to work on a confidential and anonymous helpline for survivors of sexual abuse and molestation. The training and helpline are both located at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan. The training is scheduled to begin close to the end of February. Training will consist of about 40 hours, followed by a one year commitment on the helpline. For more info please call Carole Sher at 212-420-4516. The helpline is open Monday through Thursday 9:30-5:30pm, and Fridays 9:30-1:30pm, 212-844-1495 NSHA PTA FUNDRAISER Due to the weather, this event is now on Feb. 14th. Harlem Wizards vs. North Shore Lions, (Parents, Faculty and Students) at North Shore Middle School at 7:30pm. $25 per person in advance, $30 at the door. Contact Dayla Vilinksy 487-1221. GMACH A new gmach has started for Bat Mitzvah, wedding, bridesmaid, and M.O.B. dresses in excellent condition. If you own these beautiful dresses and they’re sitting in your closet collecting dust, donate them and spread the nachas of your simcha to those in need. For more info contact Cindy Gold at or 482-9064. DON’T THROW AWAY YOUR LEFTOVERS! If you would like to donate food, even if it’s a little extra while making dinner, Herschel Minster collects outside of Mazur’s every Friday afternoon, and delivers food for Shabbat to those in need, and will also pick up in Great Neck during the week, contact him at 718-279-3989. GIVE OLD MAGAZINES A NEW LIFE Please drop off your current used magazines to the Synagogue office to be donated to NSUH.


Saturday, 6 Shevat Ebrahim Gabbaizadeh for Ayuma Gabbai Sunday, 7 Shevat Stuart Feigenblatt for Rose Feigenblatt Wendy Ingber for Joseph Silver Hannah Kleinberg for Henry Kleinberg Monday, 8 Shevat Sylvia Fisher for Esther Hirsch Kenneth Magida for Sidney Magida Tuesday, 9 Shevat Llewllyn Lillien for Minnie Lillien Peter Sherman for William Sherman Wednesday, 10 Shevat Stuart Kaufman for Louis Kaufman Michael Landsman for Phyllis Landsman David Lax for Shene Reisel Rosenberg Milton Rabinowitz for Minnie Rabinowitz Thursday, 11 Shevat Moshe Apelbaum for Sara Apelbaum Herschel Flax for Alexander Flax Shirley Spiegelman for Avraham Shankman Mike Wolberger for Tzvi Wolberger Friday, 12 Shevat