Parshat Mishpatim

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On the opening phrase of Mishpatim -- "And these are the laws you are to set before them" – Rashi coAmments: "'And these are the laws' – Wherever it uses the word 'these', it signals a discontinuity with what has been stated previously. Wherever it uses the term 'and these' it signals a continuity. Just as the former commands were given at Sinai, so these were given at Sinai. Why then are the civil laws placed in juxtaposition to the laws concerning the altar? To tell you to place the Sanhedrin near to the Temple. 'Which you shall set before them' -- G-d said to Moses: You should not think, I will teach them a section or law two or three times until they know the words verbatim but I will not take the trouble to make them understand the reason and its significance. Therefore the Torah states 'which you shall set before them' like a fully laid table with everything ready for eating." (Rashi on Shemot 23:1) Three remarkable propositions are being set

January 25, 2014 24 Shevat, 5774

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Parshat Mishpatim
out here, which have shaped the contours of Judaism ever since. The first is that just as the general principles of Judaism (aseret hadibrot means not "ten commandments" but "ten utterances" or overarching principles) are Divine, so are the details. In the 1960s the Danish architect Arne Jacobson designed a new college campus in Oxford. Not content with designing the building, he went on to design the cutlery and crockery to be used in the dining hall, and supervised the planting of every shrub in the college garden. When asked why, he replied in the words of another architect, Mies van der Rohe: "G-d is in the details". That is a Jewish sentiment. There are those who believe that what is holy in Judaism is its broad vision, never so compellingly expressed as in the Decalogue at Sinai. The truth however is that G-d is in the details: "Just as the former were given at Sinai, so these were given at Sinai." The greatness of Judaism is not simply in its noble vision of a free, just and compassionate society, but in the way it brings this vision down to earth in detailed legislation. Freedom is more than an abstract idea. It means (in an age in which slavery was taken for granted - it was not abolished in Britain or the United States until the nineteenth century) letting a slave go free after seven years, or immediately if his master has injured him. It means granting slaves complete rest and freedom one day in seven. These laws do not abolish slavery, but they do create the conditions under which people will eventually learn to abolish it. Not less importantly, they turn slavery from an existential fate to a temporary condition. Slavery is not what you are or how you were born, but something that has happened to you for a while and from which you will one day be liberated. That is what these laws -- especially the law of Shabbat --achieve, not in theory only, but in living practice. In this, as in virtually every other aspect of Judaism, G-d is in the details. The second principle, no less fundamental, is that civil law is not secular law. We do not believe in the idea "render to Caesar what is Caeser's and to G-d what belongs to G-d". We believe in the separation of powers but not in the secularization of law or the spiritualization


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Kiddush and Bima Flowers are sponsored by David and Diane Rein in memory of her mother, Helene M. Fink z”l on the occasion of her 9th yarhzeit.

Seudah Shlishit is sponsored by Adina & Mark Abraham in memory of his father Shalom Yitzhak ben Dovid Abraham and his sister Tamar bat Shalom Yitzhak

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

Shaabbat Announcements Parshat Mishpatim 774

of faith. The Sanhedrin or Supreme Court must be placed near the Temple to teach that law itself must be driven by a religious vision. The greatest of these visions, stated in this week's sedra, is: "Do not oppress a stranger, because you yourself know how it feels like to be a stranger: you were strangers in Egypt." (Shemot 23:9) The Jewish vision of justice, given its detailed articulation here for the first time, is based not on expediency or pragmatism, nor even on abstract philosophical principles, but on the concrete historical memories of the Jewish people as "one nation under G-d." Centuries earlier, G-d has chosen Abraham so that he would "teach his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord, by doing what is right and just." (Bereishit 18:19) Justice in Judaism flows from the experience of injustice at the hands of the Egyptians, and the G-d-given challenge to create a radically different form of society in Israel. This is already foreshadowed in the first chapter of the Torah with its statement of the equal and absolute dignity of the human person as the image of G-d. That is why society must be based on the rule of law, impartially administered, treating all alike -- "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit." (Shemot 23:2-3) To be sure, at the highest levels of mysticism, G-d is to be found in the innermost depths of the human soul, but G-d is equally to be found in the public square and in the structures of society: the marketplace, the corridors of power, and courts of law. There must be no gap, no dissociation of sensibilities, between the court of justice (the meeting-place of man and man) and the Temple (the meeting-place of man and G-d). The third principle and the most remarkable of all is the idea that law does not belong to lawyers. It is the heritage of every Jew. "Do not think, I will teach them a section or law two or three times until they know the words verbatim but I will not take the trouble to make them understand the reason and significance of the law. The Torah states 'which you shall set before them' like a fully laid table with everything ready for eating." This is the origin of the name of the most famous of all Jewish codes of law, R. Joseph Karo's Shulkhan Arukh. From earliest times, Judaism expected everyone to know and understand the law. Legal knowledge is not the closely guarded property of an elite. It is -- in the famous phrase -- "the heritage of the

congregation of Jacob." (Devarim 33:4) Already in the first century CE Josephus could write that "should any one of our nation be asked about our laws, he will repeat them as readily as his own name. The result of our thorough education in our laws from the very dawn of intelligence is that they are, as it were, engraved on our souls. Hence to break them is rare, and no one can evade punishment by the excuse of ignorance" (Contra Apionem, ii, 177-8). That is why there are so many Jewish lawyers. Judaism is a religion of law – not because it does not believe in love ("You shall love the Lord your G-d", "You shall love your neighbor as yourself") but because, without justice, neither love nor liberty nor human life itself can flourish. Love alone does not free a slave from his or her chains. The sedra of Mishpatim, with its detailed rules and regulations, can sometimes seem a let-down after the breathtaking grandeur of the revelation at Sinai. It should not be. Yitro contains the vision, but G-d is in the details. Without the vision, law is blind. But without the details, the vision floats in heaven. With them the divine presence is brought down to earth, where we need it most.

Great Neck Synagogue Shabbat Activities Program 26 Old Mill Road, Great Neck , NY 11023 Dale Polakoff, Rabbi Ian Lichter, Assistant Rabbi Dr. Ephraim Wolf ,z”l, Rabbi Emeritus Zeev Kron, Cantor Eleazer Schulman, z”l, Cantor Emeritus Rabbi Sholom Jensen, Youth Director Zehava & Dr. Michael Atlas, Youth Directors Mark Twersky, Executive Director Rabbi Avraham Bronstein, Program Director Dr. Scott Danoff, President Harold Domnitch, Chairman of the Board Dena Block, Yoetzet Halacha 516-320-9818

PLEASE MARK YOUR   CALENDERS    Sunday, February 9th, 2014                          7:30 pm    Commemoration   of the 10th Yahrzeit of  RABBI DR. EPHRAIM WOLF zt”l    Guest speaker  

Dr. David Pelcovitz   
At Great Neck Synagogue  26 Old Mill Rd.   Great Neck, NY 11023 

Great Neck Synagogue  Men’s Club  Health Care Forum    NEW DATE!  TUESDAY, JANUARY 28   at 8:00 pm    Come listen and learn  from one of the best,   our own               Plastic Surgeon 

Dr. Arnold Breitbart 
              He will update you and  inform you of the latest  advances in Plastic   Surgery: from Cosmetic to  Curative Reconstruction              


COMMUNITY SHABBAT  LUNCHEON Saturday, February 8, 2014  Dr. Arnold Breitbart, a board  certified plastic  surgeon, will                Guest Speaker: Dr. Iddo Netanyahu  speak on various aspects of  “Yoni’s Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe”  plastic surgery, including 
Reservations Required ~ This One **WILL** Sell Out!  $35/adult | $25/teen | $15/child | $125 family maximum  RSVP: 516.487.6100,,   Reservations Deadline: Tuesday, February 4    Sponsorship & Dedication Opportunities:  Series Dedication ‐ $5,000/year    Series Sponsorship ‐ $1,800/year  VIP Seating and a copy of “Yoni's Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe, 1976”  Dinner Dedication ‐ $1,000 | Dinner Sponsorship ‐ $500  includes a signed copy of “Yoni's Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe, 1976”  Dinner Supporter ‐ $360 | includes family reservations  For more information, please contact the synagogue office 

tummy tuck, liposuction,            reconstructive and                cosmetic breast                      surgery, facelift, nose  surgery,  eyelid surgery, cellulite      treatment, cleft lip repair, and  reconstruction after skin      cancer removal. 

     Refreshments served       ALL WELCOME 

HASHKAMA MINYAN Kiddush is sponsored by Carol & David Goddard in memory of his father Norman Goldberg

WITHIN THE FAMILY Mazal Tov to Rabbi & Ellen Polakoff on the birth of a grandson born to Tova & Rabbi Efraim Polakoff. Mazal Tov to Jane & Yosi Tuvia on the birth of a grandson born to their children Guy & Hillary Tuvia. Mazal Tov to Lillian & David Benrimon on the birth of a grandson Jacob Ariel Rosen, born to their children Linda & Avichai Rosen. Mazal Tov to Ziva & Sandy Nissenbaum on the marriage of their daughter Nicole to Jonathan Weltz son of Robin & Hank Weltz of Holliswood, NY. Mazal Tov to Yafa & Ebrahim Gabbaizadeh and Gila & George Sameyah on the birth of a granddaughter Alexis Gila Yafa born to their children Ariel & Fabian Tal Gabbaizadeh.

SUNDAY BREAKFAST Breakfast is sponsored by Adina & Mark Abraham in memory of his father Shalom Yitzhak ben Dovid Abraham and his sister Tamar bat Shalom Yitzhak JANUARY 2014- GNS CHESED COLLECTION UJA TO DISTRIBUTE TO BENEFIT NEEDY FAMILIES: Please drop off NEW Children’s Pajamas, and Toiletries like diapers, baby wipes, Baby Shampoo etc... at Heidi and Glenn Zuckerman’s Home-7 Hillcrest Drive any time from Fri., Jan 24 - Friday, Feb 7. MEN'S CLUB REMINDER: For those of you who have not yet done so, please send in your annual $54 membership subscriptions. Help us to continue bringing you the many programs and events we have in the past. A big thank you to those who are already paid-up members of the Men's Club. UPCOMING EVENTS (NEW DATE) TUES., Jan 28, 8pm: The next event in our Medical Forum series features a PLASTIC SURGEON, Dr Arnold Breitbart. He will educate and inform you on many aspects of Plastic Surgery, from Tummytucks and Breast reconstructions to Facelifts and Rhinoplasty. Details to follow. All are welcome.

PESACH SCOPE MAGAZINE The deadline for all articles, photos, advertisements, sponsorships and recipes for the upcoming Pesach edition of SCOPE magazine is Mon., Feb., 3th 2014. Please submit all material to Diane Rein at in a timely manner.

COMMUNITY SHABBAT LUNCHEON Saturday, February 8, 2014 Sponsorship & Dedication Opportunities: Series Dedication $5,000/year Series Sponsorship $1,800/year VIP Seating and a copy of “Yoni's Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe, 1976” Dinner Dedication $1,000 | Dinner Sponsorship $500 includes a signed copy of “Yoni's Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe, 1976” Dinner Supporter $360 | includes family reservations For more information, please contact the synagogue office Guest Speaker: Dr. Iddo Netanyahu “Yoni’s Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe” Presented by Lederman Caterers Reservations Required ~ This One **WILL** Sell Out! $35/adult | $25/teen | $15/child | $125 family maximum RSVP: 516.487.6100, Reservations Deadline: Tuesday, February 4

THANK YOU VERY MUCH Great Neck Synagogue would like to thank Judaica of Great Neck for donating the Haftorot Book to the youth minyan. The shul is grateful for their kindness and generosity. Thank you!

RABBI WOLF’S YAHRZEIT COMMEMORATION On Sunday evening, February 9, 2014, Great Neck Synagogue will commemorate the 10th Yahrzeit of Rabbi Dr. Ephraim R. Wolf, z"l. A special program is being planned and we are reaching out to all of you to join in the commemoration. If you would like to share a memory of Rabbi Wolf or some words of tribute, please send us an email at The memories and tributes will be made into a special book that will be presented to Rebbetzin Wolf and her family. We are also planning a photo montage that will be shown that evening. If you have a photo of Rabbi Wolf that you would like us to include, please bring it to Mark Twersky at the synagogue office. The photos will be scanned and the originals will be returned to you. Thank you in advance for being a part of this important evening. FROM THE EIRUV ASSOCIATION The yearly fundraising for the Great Neck Eiruv will be in January. They depend on your generosity to maintain our Eiruv. The minimum suggested donation will remain at $180.00, though, if you are able, a larger donation would be GREATLY appreciated. If you would like to make your fully tax deductible charitable donation, you may do so by either: Mailing a check to the GN Eiruv Association, 15 Cuttermill Road, Box 182, Great Neck, NY 11021, or donating on line at: Thanking you in advance for your support of our GN Eiruv Association.


Sunday, 25 Shevat Mark Abraham for Shalom Yitzhak ben David Miriam Bader for Lena Bader David Birnbaum for Andor Jack Birnbaum David Goddard for Norman Goldberg Louis Goldstein for Minnie Goldstein Abraham Krieger for Tonia Krieger Monday, 26 Shevat Diane Rein for Helene Marcia Fink Ruth Seif for Hadassa Dolinsky Tuesday, 27 Shevat Sharon Herman for Joseph Adler Uri Rosin for Miriam Aldouby Morris Seidman for Mala Seidman Wednesday, 28 Shevat Frank Bachrach for Ludwig Bachrach Oded Daskal for Dov Daskal Shulamid Gavronsky for Israel Kopelowitz Howard Lorber for Ronald Lorber Thursday, 29 Shevat Murray Rabinowitz fort Lea Rabinowitz Stephen Rabinowitz for Lea Rabinowitz Judith Weinstein for Fanny Weisman Friday, 30 Shevat Victor Ancelson for Carolina Galateanu Kennet S. Magida for Abraham Bilsky Hilda Schulman for Cantor Oscar Trainer George Schuman for Bernard Schuman

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