Press "Enter" to skip to content

Heights Jewish Center Synagogue Posts

unintended consequences
Imagine trying to do something nice for some birds and as a result 800,000 people die every year!
Comments closed

Patent Law, or reinventing the wheel

If I was interested in spending tens or thousands of dollars to create a new thing, I would want to make sure that the thing did not already exist.  Why bother spending millions to invent a wheel, or develop a bread-slicing machine when I could purchase one for a couple hundred dollars? 

Comments closed

announcements from HJC and schedule from HJC

Hello everybody,
The upcoming week’s schedule is below the announcements.
Gut Shabbos,
Rabbi Davidovich
-Rosh Chodesh Sivan is Friday.

Panim Chadashos – New Facets
‘Shavuos is “His wedding day”‘: medrash rabba
The celebration of a wedding requires panim chadashos, a new face at every new gathering.
Join us Shavuos Night at midnight as we explore different and new facets of some supposedly well-known parts of the Torah.
Midnight:  Krias Shema – Halachic Facets
12:45am:  Krias Shema – Political Facets
1:30am:    Krias Shema – Spiritual Facets
2:15am:    Krias Shema – The War of the Worlds:  Analyzing the war between the first and second paragraphs of the Shema 
3am:  Aseres Hadibros – Halachic Facets
3:45am: Aseres Hadibros – Historical Facets
4:30am:  Themes in the Aseres Hadibros


Friday evening, May 11       

    Early candle lighting    7:04 PM
    Regular candle lighting    8:16 PM
    Mincha-Kabalas Shabbos    6:55 PM

Saturday, May 12 (Behar-Bechukosai)       

    Parsha class    8:30 AM
    Shacharis    9:00 AM
    Latest Shema    9:47 AM
    Navi class    7:40 PM
    Mincha-Shalosh Seudos-Ma’ariv    8:10 PM
    Shabbos ends    9:25 PM

Sunday, May 13        
    Daf Yomi catch-up    7:15 AM
    Shacharis    8:00 AM
    Daf Yomi    7:35 PM
    Mincha-Ma’ariv    8:20 PM
Monday-Thursday, May 14-17        
    Gemara class    6:15 AM
    Shacharis    6:55 AM
    Daf Yomi    7:35 PM
    Mincha-Ma’ariv    8:20 PM
Friday, May 18 (Rosh Chodesh)   
    Gemara class    6:00 AM
    Shacharis    6:40 AM
Comments closed

Music etc.

We had a family over at our house this past Friday night.  They have a married son who stopped by.  The family is very musically inclined, and those of you who know me know that this means very much to me.  I had my own me’ein olam haba able to sing rare niggunim with them, and hear rare niggunim I hadn’t heard of.
Anyway, there is a Bobov version of Y-ah Ribon that has mesmerized me for years.  But I was never able to commit it to memory. Not only did the son know it, he told me he has a CD with that very tune, and other Chassidish favorites on it as well.  I just started listening.  I am so happy right now.  Maybe tonight I have a neshama yeseira since it’s shtei p’amim chai la’omer!
Comments closed

Daf Yomi – why Yevamos first?

Why does Seder Nashim begin with Yevamos?  A person needs to get married before his wife becomes a widow in need of Yibum or Chalitzah!
Various rishonim, most notably the Rambam in his Peirush on Mishnayos, offer different thematically based reasons for the order of masechtos within a Seder of Mishnayos. 
However, Rav Reuven Margolios in his small-in-size but high- in-content sefer Yesod Hamishna Va’arichasa, suggests that Masechtos were arranged in order of size.  Masechtos with more chapters were placed at the beginning of each order while those with the fewest chapters are at the end.  He then deals with all the exceptions that are found throughout Shas.  For example, he deals with the fact that the Three Bavas of ten chapters each precede the eleven-chapter Sanhedrin by pointing out that the three Bavas were previously seen as one large Masechta Mezikin, which was followed by the original Sanhedrin which comprised Makkos as well, totaling fourteen chapters. 
Comments closed

Shavuos is coming up

Shavuos is fast-approaching!
I think that the shul should have its own learning taking place on Leil Shavuos.  After all, Rabbi Schur is the one who introduced Shavuos-night learning to this neighborhood.  If anybody has any ideas for shiurim, I would love to hear them.  And please let me know if you would be coming to Heights Shavuos night. 
Enjoy the rest of Lag B’Omer
Rabbi Davidovich
Comments closed

Chagigah – closing thoughts

I have noticed a tension, some might even say a dialectic tension, in masechta Chagigah.  These last few pages highlight a real division within Klal Yisrael in that last century of Bais Sheini.  Besides the Torah-mandated division between the Priestly caste and the non-Cohanim, there appeared a stark contrast between those who were well-versed in the many complex rules of Tahara and Terumah and those who could not keep it all straight.  People could not touch other people’s things, food could not be shared, even by those who were trusted on the sheer kashrus of their food. 
People like me who have been involved in Kiruv know how important it is to have an open house to invote people over for Shabbos, Yom-Tov, picnics, luncheons etc.  Can you imagine a Klal Yisrael where Talmidei Chachomim are not allowed to have less learned people into their own homes? 
But as the last pages of chagigah point out, during Yom-Tov an exception was made to the rule.  It was only motzoei- Yom Tov that everything in the Beis Hamikdash and elsewhere was toiveled and repurified.  It sounds all very nice and Jewish-unity centered, if you like that cliche. But how could they ignore halacha?
I think the response is that they were not ignoring the halachos of tahara.  Remember, when an Am Haaretz is considered tamei, it means that the Halacha gave them a presumption.  If it was more than that, thatis, if I knew for a fact that a Jew was tamei, I would have no right to close my eyes.  The Rabbis created that presumption.  Yom-Tov comes along and the Rabbis say “don’t presume”.  To use a modern catchphrase, “Don’t ask, don’t tell”.  That is a different attitude than shutting your eyes to halachos.  It is choosing not to notice other people’s shortcomings!  What a concept!
Holidays are called “Chag”.  A chug, Ches-Gimel, is also a circle.  Rav SR Hirsch says that this is the imperative of the Chag, to be joined together in a circle, where all points are equidistant from the center.  So much of halacha creates divisions, hierarchies between people.  Those are important to maintain.  Halacha is not egalitarian.  Life is not egalitarian.  I say “Shelo Asani Goy, Shelo Asani Aved, Shelo asani Isha” every day.  Even among men, halacha and life form many barriers to true unity. 
Then Yom Tov comes.  As the first pages of Chagigah say, the Torah says “Kol Zechur’cha”, all your males should come see Me, says Hashem.  There should be no tours or times where only certain people go up because of side considerations.  Either all may go, or none need to go.  After Yom-Tov, we will revert to some or most of the old patterns, but for a week here and there, Chag Hamatzos, Chag Hashavuos and Chag Hasuccos, we re-enact K’Ish Echad B’Leiv Echad, not only in a mushy touchy-feely way, but in a concrete halachic sense as well. 
1 Comment

Announcements and Schedule

The times for this Shabbos and the upcoming week are below the announcements.
  • Mazel Tov to Rabbi and Mrs. Appel on the Bar Mitzvah of their son Elazar Simcha this Shabbos.  Mazel Tov to the grandparents Harold and Faige Males.
  • Mazel Tov to our Yomim Noraim Chazan, Rabbi Simcha Mann and his wife, on the upcoming wedding of their daughter Dassah this Sunday evening. 
  • One may get a haircut and shave today l’kovod Shabbos even though Lag B’Omer is not until Sunday.  The other Sefira customs are only lifted on Sunday morning. 
  • Mincha this evening is at 6:50 PM.  As this time, there is no later erev Shabbos minyan.
  • Note to those who don’t show up on Shabbos morning at 9AM sharp: Morning Z’man Krias Shema is at 9:51AM this Shabbos and getting earlier and earlier now.
  • The Shul’s Lag B’Omer picnic is taking place behind the shul this Sunday May 6, from noon to 3pm.  We would love to see you there.
  • Mincha-Maariv during the week is at 8:15PM.  Daf Yomi precedes it at 7:30PM.
  • This Shabbos at Shalosh Seudos there will be a siyum on Masechta Chagigah and Seder Moed. 
  • The Daf Yomi shiur will be starting Masechta Yevamos (and Seder Nashim) on Sunday morning at 7:15AM. 
Have a wonderful Shabbos and Lag B’Omer.
Rabbi Davidovich
Friday evening, May 4   
 Early candle lighting 6:59 PM 
 Regular candle lighting 8:09 PM 
 Mincha-Kabalas Shabbos 6:50 PM
Saturday, May 5 (Emor)
 Parsha class 8:30 AM 
 Shacharis 9:00 AM 
 Latest Shema 9:51 AM 
 Navi class 7:30 PM 
 Mincha-Shalosh Seudos-Ma’ariv 8:00 PM  
 Shabbos ends 9:18 PM 

Sunday, May 6 (Lag B’Omer)   
 Daf Yomi catch-up 7:15 AM 
 Shacharis 8:00 AM 
 Daf Yomi 7:30 PM 
 Mincha-Ma’ariv 8:15 PM 
Monday-Thursday, May 7-10   
 Gemara class 6:15 AM 
 Shacharis 6:55 AM 
 Daf Yomi 7:30 PM 
 Mincha-Ma’ariv 8:15 PM 
Friday, May 11   
 Gemara class 6:15 AM 
 Shacharis 6:55 AM 

Comments closed