The Rabbi's Weekly Thoughts

The Torah portion, Vayikrah, deals with the laws of sacrifice, i.e. the different kinds of sacrifices brought for different occasions. It devotes an entire 41 verse chapter to what sacrifice to bring if one did something wrong by mistake, which differed if one was an ordinary Israelite, Kohen, or ruler.


Two questions arise: Why an entire chapter? Why different kinds of atonement for different people? Short answer: learning to deal with different mistakes we make is a lesson for growth. A mistake is ok; admit it! Learn from it!  However, beware, not all are equal! A retail overcharge has much less serious repercussions than a mistake by a surgeon or an air traffic controller.


We often send our children mixed messages-“no shame-learn and grow from mistakes! Look at Thomas Edison, after thousands of mistakes, he created electric light!” Yet, we often reward high-achieving children with good grades, etc. but not so much those who try hard but make mistakes. 2 Stanford University experiments showed that 5th graders praised for being right chose easier tasks and lied about mistakes more often than those who were praised for trying hard but making mistakes.


These behaviors definitely follow us into adulthood, bringing to mind my favorite story about WWll SUPERGENERAL George Patton, who rather than admitting his mistake at a certain gathering, poured cream and sugar into a cup of wine and gulped it, even after being privately alerted. False pride!


The Torah is right devoting an entire chapter of 41 verses to these issues of different mistakes and sacrifices by different kinds of people because they are essential to human development and growth. In conclusion, I say to you all unequivocally, if I ever make a mistake, I will forthrightly admit it and learn from it.  I hope that you will too.


Our doors are open to all who seek to worship, learn and serve the community. Services​ at Shaare Zedek Congregation are a learning experience.  During the service, members of the Minyan are encouraged to raise their hand if they have a question regarding the structure of the service, the meaning of a prayer, the interpretation of the Torah portion or a comment regarding the practice of Judaism.
​Our goal is to broaden the understanding of Judaism and through better understanding establish each individual's relationship with G-d.  Join us to experience our interactive service.  Come Learn with us.

​Kabbalat Erev Shabbat Service - 6:00 p.m.
Morning Shabbat - 9:15 a.m. followed by a Kiddush Lunch.

Shabbat Services

Erev Shabbat - Friday night: 6:00 p.m.
In the Florence and Hy Herman Daily Chapel
Shabbat Morning: 9:15 a.m.
In the main sanctuary

Daily Services

Our daily services are conducted in the Florence and Hy Herman Daily Chapel

Shacharit - Morning Services: 
Monday through Friday – 7:00am
Sunday – 8:45am

Maariv - Evening Services:
Sunday through Friday – 6:00pm
Depending on the time of year, the afternoon service (Mincha) is
recited immediately prior to the evening service (Maariv)

(Please see our Calendar for exact times)

Sun, 30 April 2017 4 Iyyar 5777