February 17, 2012 Mishpatim

S.T.A.R. News & Events

Here are S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

March 11, 2012

STAR Teens get ready for Paint ball WAR!!!! Unlimited paint balls, food and awesome fun with your STAR friends. Sign up now. 

This Shabbat

Shabbat Parashat: Mishpatim

Candle Lighting: 5:21pm
Shabbat Ends: 6:17pm

Torah Message

So Close And Yet So Far Away

"…and you will bow down from a distance." (24:1)

We perceive G-d in two ways. We believe that He is pre-existent, the Cause, the Creator and the Sustainer of all reality. He is far beyond and above. Ultimately distant. He precedes all beginning and transcends all ending. No creature can fathom Him, for what can the painting know of the Painter? He created thought so no thought can think of Him. He is utterly separate and distant beyond all concept of space and time.

And yet He is very, very near. He fills the world. There is no place or time where He is not. For if He were not there, that place could not be, that second would never take place. He fills all worlds and encompasses all worlds.

G-d is both transcendent and immanent.

It is the unique privilege of the Jewish People to proclaim these two seemingly opposite aspects of our perception of G-d. Many religions have a concept of G-d being supremely elevated above all. But they falter in their recognition of His imminence. They fail to understand that He is here right now. He sees all, knows the secrets of every living thing, and is interested in their every move.

When the Jewish People rise during their prayers and proclaim like the angels the Kedusha, this is how they praise the Creator:

"Holy, Holy, Holy, G-d, Master of Legions. The whole world is filled with His Glory."

"Blessed is the glory of G-d from His place."

The first statement depicts our relationship with G-d as immanent – the universe is "filled with His Glory." No place or time can be devoid of Him. The second statement implies G-d’s transcendence, His utter separation and elevation from this world – "from His place."

This is also the deeper meaning when the prophet Isaiah says "‘Peace to afar and to close at hand’ says G-d." To the righteous who are faithful to these two beliefs, G-d radiates a constant stream of heavenly influence.

These two aspects also express themselves in the awe of Heaven on the one hand and the love of G-d on the other. A person is only awed by that which is above and beyond him. That which is near at hand doesn’t strike fear into his heart. It’s too close. On the other hand, love only flourishes in closeness. It’s difficult to love when there is no contact.

"…and you will bow down from a distance."

The hidden meaning of this verse in this week’s parsha is that bowing – fear and awe are the natural partners of distance – G-d’s transcendence.

Another understanding of this verse is that bowing implies the drawing down of Heavenly energy into all the worlds. It is for this reason that we bow in the prayer Aleinu when we say "And we bend our knees and bow." Our physical actions give substance to a spiritual reality, the drawing down of holiness. Thus Moshe is telling Aharon, Nadav, Avihu and seventy of the elders of Yisrael that they will bring down the lofty spiritual influences into all the worlds by their bowing.

  • Sources: Kedushas Levi, Arizal


Rabbi M. Weiss                                                  Rabbi Y. Sakhai

Community News

Em Habanim Congregation

Weekly Parashat Hashavua class with Rabbi Joshua Bittan on Wednesdays at 8:30pm for more info. visit www.emhabanim.com


Purim Monte Carlo Night March 7th at 8pm at Emhabanim. For more Info. visit www.emhabanim.com 

Sephardic Temple:

Talmud Torah and Youth Havadalah and Movie Nite will return in January after the completion of the remodel of the new Alcana Youth Lounge. Watch for upcoming dates and info!

Get Well Soon

We urge the whole community and all the jews around the world to pray for two 16 year old boys that were in a tragic accident. May hashem grant them a full Refuah Shelema and may he grant their families patience and nachat, Amen. 

Ariel Menachem Chayim ben Miryam & Daniel ben Sara

We wish a speedy recovery for all the Jews that may need it where ever they may be and especially for:

Em Habanim:

Max Barchichat From Sephardic Temple: Al Azus,Buena Angel,
Elaine Leon,Itzchak Rachmanony

From S.T.A.R.:

Mordechai Chaim Ben Chana, Chaim Ben Buena,
Meshulam Dov Ben Chana Sarah

Bracha Eliza Bat Ehteram, Bracha Sara Chaya Bat Ronit,
Donna Devora bat Sara 

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