257 Garden Street
Roslyn Heights, NY 11577
Message from our Rabbinic Intern
Schedule of Services
Monday to Friday
Very soon we will be celebrating Purim, which involves a number of
special mitzvot. We read the Megillah both morning and night, we give
gifts to the needy, we give mishloach manot (two edible foods or drinks)
and we eat a festive meal — seudat Purim.
(except Rosh Chodesh
As a rule, when we perform a mitzvah, we need to be attentive and have a
respectful mindset. Furthermore, we need to have kavanah
— intent to fulfill
the mitzvah (Shulchan Aruch 589:10). Yet, the Talmud (Megillah 7B) seems
to ignore these rules and principles when it comes to Purim. The Talmud
states, "On Purim, one has an obligation to become
intoxicated to the point that he does not know
the difference between Blessed is Mordechai and
Cursed is Haman." For centuries, commentators
the previous Friday's
have been trying to explicate this unusual and
candle lighting time.
enigmatic halakhic obligation. How could there be
an obligation to become so intoxicated that you lose
your ability to distinguish between good and evil,
Mincha and Kabbalat
between two opposites — Mordechai and Haman?
Shabbat at 6:45pm
Does Judaism support drinking and intoxication as a way of serving G-d?
While there are many ways of explaining this halakha, I will offer an
explanation given by Rabbi Yaakov of Lisa, (1760 – 1832) author of numerous
halakhik works (most famously the Netivot and the Chavot Da'at). One of
the most difficult passages in the Talmud (Berakhot 54a) explains that "One
must bless for the bad just as one blesses for the good," because essentially,
Shiur 40 minutes
"everything that G-d does is for the best." Based on this Talmudic dictum, we
can explain the obligation to become intoxicated on Purim.
We said that one has to drink until he reaches the point where he does not
candle lighting time.
know the difference between "Blessed is Mordechai and Cursed is Haman."
Rabbi Yaakov of Lisa posits that this is referring to the difference between
good and evil. On Purim one has to let down all barriers, until he reaches a
spiritual level where he does not see any difference between good and evil.
candle lighting time,
We recognize that even what seems to be bad is really a blessing in disguise.
followed by Seudat
Of course, we are incapable of understanding this throughout the year just
Shlishit, Ma'ariv and
through study and analysis.
In this world, we will never fully understand why bad things happen.
Sometimes we get glimpses of answers, sometimes it's all questions, but we
must always work to have the faith that indeed everything is for the best.
The Purim story is the ultimate example of the most terrible decree against
the Jewish people completely turning around, v'nahahfoch hu
. Therefore, on
Purim, with the help of some wine, we work on internalizing the idea that
everything that happens is for the best.
Rivky, Chayala and I wish you a spiritually uplifting and happy Purim!
Message From the President
Many of the mitzvot which we do require preparation, which although not the mitzvah per
se is an integral part of the mitzvah. The first verse of Vayikra, "And He called to Moshe"
is noted by Rashi to mean, "Calling" preceded every utterance, every speech, and every
commandment. It is an expression of love, the expression used by the heavenly angels.
To the gentile prophets, by contrast, He reveals Himself in expressions of transience and
impurity, as it says, ‘God Chanced upon Bilam.'
In fact, if we look carefully we see that most of our mitzvot are done only
after preparation. For example, we start studying the laws of Pesach a month before in
preparation for the Yom Tov, not to mention the all the actual preparations for Pesach
which have a become a minhag Yisrael. Preparations for Shabbat
begin well before the onset of Shabbat so we enter Shabbat in
a joyous and holy state of mind. There is custom amongst many
Jews to recite the phrase,"Hineni mukhan u mezuman" ("Behold,
I am prepared and ready") before the performance of mitzvot.
In fact , the Gemorra, Berakhot 30b, tells us that the "the pious
ones of old" would wait an entire hour before beginning to pray
(Shemoneh Esreh) so as to properly prepare for their encounter
with the almighty.
Purim too has its preparation. We read Parshat Zachor on the
Shabbat before Purim and we fast as a community the day before
There are some mitzvot, especially related to Purim which are
quite spontaneous and do not require preparation. The giving of
gifts to the poor is one of them. Acts of kindness and charity are meant to be spontaneous.
They stem from our love of our fellow man. There is no bracha to be recited before giving
charity on Purim or any other day. No preparation is required because our giving of charity
should stem from desire to help a person in need, immediately, without hesitation.
The well known obligation, stated in the Gemorra, Megilla 7b, that one is obligated
to get intoxicated on Purim until he cannot differentiate between ‘Blessed be Mordechai'
and cursed be Haman' is another example of acting without preparation. Did our sages
really encourage us to arrive at this state of uncertainty? Perhaps they did, but another
explanation is that occasionally we need to act directly, without too much analysis, without
complex thought, without doubts. This is what Jews do when we celebrate Purim and when
we worship G-d with a sense great joy and happiness with spontaneity and pleasure like a
drunkard. It takes a year of preparation to arrive at Purim so that we might not be able to
tell the difference between Mordechai and Haman. Purim sameach,Marc Yunis
Sisterhood NewsOur next Book Club meeting will take place on Monday night March 17th at Susan Cooper's house,
38 Shadetree Lane, Roslyn Heights (484-8375), at 8pm. This month's book will be This is the Story of
a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett. Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of
Wonder, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments—to writing, family, friends, dogs, books,
and her husband—creating a resonant portrait of a life in this absorbing read. Please join us for a lively
discussion and fun evening, even if you haven't read the book!
We will be meeting in the synagogue Wednesday, March 12th at 7:00 pm to assemble the Misloach
Manot. Please join us!
O n February 28-March 1, Shabbat Vayakhel, The Roslyn Synagogue held our annual Scholar-In-
Residence Shabbat. This year, we were honored to host Rabbi Ozer Glickman, a Rosh Yeshivah
at Yeshiva University's Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. In his three shiurim over
the course of Shabbat, Rabbi Glickman addressed interesting and thought provoking issues relaing to the
development and interpretation of Halacha, and the role and meaning Aggadah in Rabbinic Literature. On
Friday night, over 60 members of our community enjoyed a fun and delicious Shabbat dinner to kick-off the
weekend. And on Saturday evening, we had a great turnout for a Melaveh Malkah
which followed Rabbi Glickman's final lecture. For all those who attended one or
more of the weekend's events, this year's Scholar in Residence program once again
showed what makes The Roslyn Synagogue such a special place — a place that
combines learning, social events, and davening, and weaves them into a warm and
vibrant community. With the continued support of all of our members, we continue
to look forward to hosting many more learning/social programs in this and the
On Shabbat Parashat Vayikra, March 7-8, The Roslyn Synagogue hosted Rabbi
Kenneth Brander, the Dean of Yeshiva University's Center for the Jewish Future. Rabbi Brander visited
our community, on behalf of Yeshiva University, for the purpose of celebrating the Rabbinic Ordination of
Rabbi Avi Block, Rabbi and Rebbitzin Block's 39 year tenure as our spiritual and community leaders, and the
wonderful impact that the Block family has had on Roslyn and the broader Jewish community throughout the
country. Rabbi Brander spoke during the course of Shabbat about the mutually supporting roles of "the Priest
and the Prophet" in Jewish life, and the role and importance of the synagogue. In these lectures, Rabbi Brander
highlighted how lucky The Roslyn Synagogue has been, and continues to be, to have a Rabbi who embodies, for
our synagogue and its members, the best of the educational role of the priest and the inspirational role of the
prophet. Many thanks toYeshiva University for recognizing what we here in Roslyn have known for so many
years, and may we all be blessed to benefit from the leadership of Rabbi and Rebbitzin Block, and the Block
family, for many, many years to come.
"What Does Torah Umadda Mean Anyway? Classic and Contemporary
Perspectives for a Meaningful Modern Orthodoxy" was presented by Rabbi
Gershon Albert, a rabbinic intern at Young Israel of Scarsdale.
No surprise that there are conflicting opinions. These range from Rabbi Akiva's
strict view that, "even one who reads the non-canonized (external) books, has
no portion in the world to come, (Mishna Sanh. 90a)" to Maimonides' view that
"Knowledge of nature is the way to love and fear the Lord." Indeed the Torah itself
commands us to calculate the calendar cycles; as it is written: "For
this is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the peoples.
(Deut. 4:6, BT Shabbat 75a)" How can such be accomplished
without knowledge of the science of astronomy? (Maimonides also
held that all forms of wisdom are "perfumers, cooks and bakers" for
Thanks to Rabbi Avi Anderson for arranging the program and
Yigal Harel for getting the food and the cake in honor of my 82nd
Jewish books for kids
PJ Library is a program that mails free, high-
Thursday March 13th, 2014, Taanit Esther
quality Jewish children's literature and music to families
Fast Begins 5:48am
across North America on a monthly basis to help
families stay engaged with their kids through reading.
Books sent are based on the reading level of your
Maariv to follow Mincha
child. All families raising Jewish
Fast ends 7:43pm
children from age six months
of age through five, six, seven or
eight years (depending on the
Reading of Megillat Esther
community) are welcome to sign
March 15, 2014: Shabbat ends 7:42pm
up. Go to: https://pjlibrary.org/
Megillah Reading 8:15pm
Communities.aspx to find the
Followed by parve snacks and children's
program nearest you.
PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon
Foundation and is made possible through partnerships
Sunday morning, March 16th, 2014
with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations.
Today, families in hundreds of communities across
Megillah reading 9:10am
the United States and Canada are able to explore the
timeless core values of Judaism through books and
music. There's no cost! Questions? Call PJ Library at
413-276-0800 or [email protected]
Shul NewsMazel tov to Heather and Seth Ostrow and family on the birth of a daughter, Lailah Judith (Yehudis Lailah).
Mazel tov to Rabbi and Beile Block and the entire Block family on the birth of a daughter,
Daphna Ruth (Daphna Rivka) to Rochel and Elisha Block.
Mazel tov to Edith and Paul Tolins on the birth of a son, Zachary Michael (Moshe Mordechai), to
Ilana and Jeff Lax.
Mazel tov to Edith and Sam Levy on the birth of a daughter to their grandchildren
Blima and Hanan Blumenblatt.
Mazel tov to Michele and Harvey Rand on the birth of a daughter, Chloe Alexa (Aviva Rachel) to
Lauren and Jordan Rand. Mazel tov to the Baradarian family on the bat mitzvah of Shira.
Mazel tov to the Solaimanzadeh family on the marriage of Johnathan and Sharon.
We welcome new members Jonathan, Pamela, Max & Sophie Goldman.
Our sincere condolences to Alan Kaplan and family on the loss of his mother, Harriet Kaplan.
Our sincere condolences to Ellen Kaplan and family on the loss of her mother, Harriet Zelnick.
Our sincere condolences to Beile Block on the loss of her mother, Shirley Ganz.
Our sincere condolences to Jack Wertenteil on the loss of his sister, Chana Ringel.
Our sincere condolences to Cyrus Youssefzadeh on the loss of his mother, Mehry Youssefzadeh.
May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
APPENDIX 1 Levels and effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in seabirds Retinoids and α-tocopherol – potential biomarkers of POPs in birds? Kari Mette Murvoll Doctoral thesis for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) Norwegian University of Science and Technology Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology
The National Flooring Company Ltd Health & Safety Policy Version 10, 14/2/2012 Health & Safety Policy Arrangements for Health & Safety at Work General Statement of Intent The Managing Director of The National Flooring Co Ltd regards the promotion of Health & Safety measures at work as an important objective for all. It is, therefore, the organization's policy to do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent personal injury and hazards to health of all persons who may come into contact with our undertaking.