The Jersey Shore Orthodox Rabbinate takes pride in once again presenting to our Sephardic Community a comprehensive guide to Passover productsRead More
Last year, we replaced the old worn out benches with new seating from Kibbutz Lavi. It’s now time to replace the worn out women’s seating with matching seats.
Our goal is to purchase 100 matching chairs manufactured by Kibbutz Lavi in Israel. Each chair costs us about $250. If you donate $1,500 or more, we will acknowledge your contribution with a plaque in the women’s section of our sanctuary.
Please send a check made out to Congregation Etz Ahaim (and put in the memo “women’s seating”), or click on the button below.
After Purim is the beginning of our Pesach preparations. We are thinking about what we'll serve for our seders, who we'll invite, and cleaning the house. On Pesach, we aren't merely refraining from eating chametz or even not benefiting from chametz, we are not even allowed to own chametz. Food that we have and the dishes that we cook with must be disposed of in some manner.
In the Middle Ages, Jews who owned bakeries and breweries were left with large inventories of chametz, so in order to get around the prohibition of owning chametz, they sold their inventories to non-Jews. Over the centuries, as people became richer and owned more, individuals followed the businessmen's lead and also sold their chametz to non-Jews. Even in the 19th century, it was common for individual Jews to sell their chametz to non-Jewish friends.
However, the laws of the sale must be performed in a particular manner in a particular order. To prevent individuals from doing invalid sales (and thus still owning chametz on Pesach), the local Rabbis started to handle this function. We now give the local Rabbi the Power of Attorney to sell our chametz for us.
SELL YOUR CHAMETZ
For the last two years, we are the only congregation in the area that allows you to sell your chametz over the Internet. No need to find a stamp or remember to mail in your form. It’s quick and convenient. You can find the form by looking for the Sell Your Chametz link on the top of our webpage. No need for a stamp, and we’ll email you before Pesach with the information and when the sale is complete. You can also download the paper form if you prefer.
If you are planning to be in Israel or Europe for Pesach, please contact Rabbi Bassous.
Now that Purim is over, we need to start thinking about Pesach.Read More
Ta’anit Esther (Fast of Esther) - Wednesday, March 20
From 5:48am to 7:22pm. Both men and women including boys 13 years of age and older and girls 12 years of age and older, must fast. Sick and elderly people are not required to fast. Pregnant women who experience discomfort because of the fast may eat.
Megilla Reading - Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00pm
It is customary to give before the reading of the Megillah. Ashkenazim give three half-dollars before the reading of the Megillah. Sephardim give six dollars. This is reminiscent of the half-shekel given yearly in the Bet Hamikdash at this time, to fund public sacrifices.
Al Hanisim is recited in the Amidah and in the Birkat Hamazon. If you forget to say Al Hanisim, you do not have to repeat the Birkat Hamazon or the Amidah.
Both men and women are required to hear the Megillah read from a kosher Megillah - both on the night and on the day of Purim. Preferably, one should hear the Megillah read in the synagogue, or at least in the company of ten people. If that is not possible, one may read the Megillah themselves or hear it from someone else privately. Children should be educated in hearing the Megillah, and they must be instructed to remain quiet so that the adults can hear every word.
Three berachot are said before reading the Megillah and one berachah after reading it. The berachah after the Megillah is said only if a Minyan is present.
One must hear the entire Megillah in order to fulfill the Mitzvah. If one missed hearing even one word, one does not fulfill the mitzvah. If one misses a word, one should read from the Chumash or kosher Megillah the word he missed and the following words until they catches up to the one reading the Megillah.
One who is following the Megillah in a Chumash should not read aloud with the one who is reading the Megillah, but should merely follow the reading silently.
It is best if one follows the reading in his own kosher Megillah so if he misses a word he can say it from his own Megillah.
Join the Celebration
Following the Megillah reading, join in the celebratory Seuda. Please send in a donation to be a sponsor.
Purim Day - Thursday, March 21
The Megillah is read again during morning services at 7.15am and again at 9:00am. It may be read, when necessary, any time from sunrise (or if in great need, from seventy two minutes before sunrise) until sunset, with the berachot.
It is a Mitzvah incumbent on both men and women on Purim Day to give a monetary gift to at least two poor people. This is known as Matanot Laevyonim. This monetary gift should be enough to buy a decent lunch.
It is likewise a Mitzvah to give at least two types of food or drink to at least one person on Purim Day. This is known as Mishloach Manot. These foods must be ready to eat and must require no further preparation. The foods must be sent and received on Purim Day itself. The two foods must be two different kinds of food (such as two kinds of fruit, or cake and fruit, etc.).
It is likewise a Mitzvah to eat a large meal on Purim day before sunset. One should try to invite friends and relatives to enjoy this Seuda in a festive manner.
One should drink wine at this meal, since the miracle of Purim came about through wine (Vashti was killed when Achashverosh got drunk, and Esther revealed Haman’s plot to Achashverosh at a wine party). One, however, should not imbibe to a point that he may, G-d forbid, say or do something contrary to Torah principles.
Israel May Be Fourth Country with Moon Lander
Ruth Englash – Washington Post – February 20, 2019
TEL AVIV —Israel is aiming to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the moon with the scheduled launch Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Fla., of Beresheet, the first homegrown Israeli spaceship.
At stake are not only $100 million of investment and eight years of hard work, says the team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs involved in the venture, but also possibly the future of independent privatized space travel.
Beresheet, named for the Hebrew word for Genesis, will be the smallest and least expensive spacecraft ever to attempt the journey from Earth to the moon, say those behind the project. Measuring only 1.5 meters in height and two meters in diameter, the vessel is aiming to make a lunar landing on April 11.
Previous moon landings — including the first by the former Soviet Union in 1966, American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969 and China in 2013 — were all government-sponsored endeavors. This initiative, spearheaded by Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL, is being funded mainly by Jewish donors and foundations from around the world.
SpaceIL’s chief executive, Ido Anteby, said that as long as there are no last-minute hiccups on Thursday night — the launch has already been postponed at least once — Beresheet will leave the Earth’s atmosphere by hitching a ride on a Falcon 9 commercial rocket belonging to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Once the spaceship disengages from the Falcon 9 rocket, the craft will travel a roundabout route to the moon, covering a total distance of about 4 million miles, orbiting both the Earth and the moon several times. As it reaches the moon’s orbit, Beresheet will reduce its speed, with the goal of being picked up by the moon’s gravity.
There are still challenges before it reaches a lunar landing and puts Israel on the space industry’s map. Israelis have already experienced their share of disappointment and tragedy when it comes to space travel. Israel’s only astronaut, Ilan Ramon, was among the seven-member crew of the space shuttle Columbia when it disintegrated upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere in 2003.
Morris Kahn, SpaceIL’s president and its largest investor, said Monday he hoped the initiative, as the first commercial, nongovernment flight to the moon, would contribute significantly to future space exploration.
He also said he was “gifting” the project to Israel and declared it a national project. “Not only every Israeli, but also every Jew will remember where he was when the Israeli spacecraft landed on the moon,” said Kahn, a South African-born Israeli billionaire.
If all goes according to plan, future visitors to the moon will also have a reminder of Israel’s inaugural space flight because the craft, which is making a one-way journey, is carrying capsules filled with Israeli national symbols, Jewish cultural items, and digital files detailing how this project came about. It is also carrying a tiny nanotech version of the Bible.
As part of its mission, Beresheet will engage in scientific research for Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, measuring the moon’s magnetic fields with specially installed computers and cameras, said SpaceIL’s Anteby.
The seeds of the Beresheet initiative started to sprout in 2010, when three young Israeli entrepreneurs signed up to compete for the now defunct Google Lunar X Prize. Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yehonatan Weintraub hoped to win the $20 million prize by landing an Israeli-built unmanned spaceship on the moon — and to turn Israeli schoolchildren on to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Though the three Israelis did not win the prize — no one did — they went on to create SpaceIL. Since then, the project not only gained financial backing from private investors but also support from Israeli government agencies such as Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the Israel Space Agency. It was these connections that last summer helped facilitate agreements with NASA and Musk’s SpaceX.
Opher Doron, IAI’s general manager, said a goal of this undertaking is to inspire a generation of children to study science and technology.
“We want to make them feel that they can achieve anything,” he said.
Save the Dates!
Sunday, March 3rd: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday, March 10th: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Wednesday March 13th: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Highland Park is getting two new Kosher Restaurants in February of 2019. It’s going to be an exciting year.
229 Raritan Avenue – Highland Park – (732) 640-0050
From the people who brought you Lin’s Kosher Chinese in Manville comes China Lee. A new meat restaurant located in Downtown Highland Park. Parking is available across the street in the city lot.
Bridge Turkish and Mediterranean Grill
315 Raritan Avenue - Highland Park - (732) 418-9000
Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. Bridge has been open for years and has become a Highland Park landmark. Now, it’s coming under the Vaad’s supervision.
Nefesh Hachaim: Rav Chaim of Volozhin's Classic Exploration of the Fundamentals of Jewish Belief
Sundays at 5:00pm starting January 27th.
Rabbi Israel, a genius on both the revealed and secret aspects of the Torah, was a very modest man. Despite his great scholarship, he never considered himself worthy of all the honors that were bestowed upon him.Read More