Sign In Forgot Password

Edmond J. Safra Synagogue & Joseph S. Jemal Synagogue

Shabbat BALAK

 

Y Shabbat Balak Prayer & Class Schedule Y

Friday, June 29, 2018

 

Minha & Arbit

E.J.Safra building ………………..6:30 pm

J.S. Jemal building ………………....7:30 pm

E.J.Safra building ……….…………..8:00 pm

Candle Lighting ……..…..….............8:11 pm

 

Shabbat June 30, 2018

Shahrit

Early Minyan Safra Syn L.L .......….6:20 am

First minyan Jemal Syn…………….6:45 am

Main Minyan Safra Syn …………....8:30 am

Youth Minyan E.J. Safra Syn L.L… 8:45 am

Young Adults J.S. Jemal Syn L.L…..9:15 am

Father & Son E.J. Safra Syn ……...9:15 am

 

Minha Gedola…………..……….... 2:00 pm

Classes…………...…..….…5:40 & 6:40 pm

Minha followed by Seuda Shelisheet...........7:40 pm

Arbit ………………………………..8:50 pm

Shabbat Ends……..…………….…9:11 pm

 

 

Weekday Prayer schedule

Shahrit

Sunday

1st Minyan – J.S. Jemal bldg…….7:00 a.m.

2nd Minyan - J.S. Jemal bldg …….8:00 a.m.

3rd Minyan - J.S. Jemal bldg ……..9:00 a.m.

4th Minyan - E.J. Safra bldg..……..9:30 a.m.

 

Monday & Thursday

1st Minyan - E.J. Safra bldg……….6:10 a.m.

2nd Minyan J.S. Jemal bldg……..…6:45 a.m.

3rd Minyan J.S. Jemal bldg…………8:00 a.m.

4th Minyan - E.J. Safra bldg..……..9:00 a.m.

 

Tues., Wed., Friday

1st Minyan - E.J. Safra bldg …..….....6:10 a.m.

2nd Minyan - J.S. Jemal bldg ………...6:55 a.m.

3rd Minyan - J.S. Jemal bldg ……….8:00 a.m.

4th Minyan - E.J. Safra bldg..…….…9:00 a.m.

 

Daily Shahrit is followed by

Breakfast & Hok L’Yisrael class

Minha & Arbit

Sunday – Thursday

1st Minyan - J.S. Jemal bldg ……..…..6:45 p.m.

2nd Minyan - J.S. Jemal bldg ……....…7:15 p.m.

 

Perashat Balak

Human Dignity

A recent study was undertaken to see how parents interact with their children. The study found that for every positive comment a parent makes to a child, there are on average 19 negative remarks. Of course, any teacher or office manager will tell you that people are far more productive in a positive than in a negative environment. Yet, somehow, this realization gets lost in the commute from work to home.

A man recently related how his 10-year-old son had been acting in a difficult manner. After some painful self-examination, this man realized that he'd been constantly chiding the boy. So he decided to change tactics; he began to focus on praising his son, and speaking about him in front of others as "my little Sadeek."

The result? Overnight this child became a totally different person! Given his new title of "sadeek," he gladly assumed the role.

This approach was pivotal to the moral development (mussar) methods of the famous, Slobodka Yeshiva. Instead of focusing on what the students "were," the rabbis would focus on what the person "could become." The result was that the greatest Torah luminaries emerged from the that very study hall.

This concept finds illustration in this week's Perasha. A Moabite chieftain named Balak - fearful of Israelite attack -summons a non-Jewish spiritualist named Bilaam to curse the Jewish People.

The Torah reports how Bilaam saddled up his donkey and embarked on a journey to curse the Jews.

On the way, an angel came to block the way. Initially, only the donkey - not Bilaam himself - noticed the angel.

Subsequently, when Bilaam realized the angel's presence, he acknowledged the humiliating reality that a donkey is more spiritually perceptive than he is!

But we must return to a more basic question. Why was Bilaam's military strategy a curse rather than bows and arrows? Because Bilaam reasoned that since the power of the Jewish People is in their mouth (i.e. through study of Torah), the best way to counteract that power was with the mouth - a curse!

There is much discussion in the commentaries as to the true nature of Bilaam. In the view of some he was a prophet, in the view of others a charlatan. Some say he was an astrologer, others a liar. Whatever the case may be, however, one thing is clear - he was a very evil man. For a high enough wage he was willing to curse an entire people.

At the completion of this episode, Hashem smites the donkey. This, at first glance, appears counterproductive. Wouldn't Hashem want to keep the donkey around as a reminder of this incredible incident?

Our Rabbi’s explained that G-d was being solicitous of Bilaam's honor. How embarrassing it would be for Bilaam to have a constant reminder of his downfall. To preserve Bilaam's honor, the donkey needed to be killed.

It is amazing that Hashem would go to such great lengths to preserve the honor of a wicked character. Yet the Almighty wants to teach us a valuable lesson: If we need to be concerned about the dignity of Bilaam, then how much more so should we be sensitive to the dignity of our friends and neighbors. And, we must not forget to honor the higher nature within ourselves.

May the lesson of our Perasha inspire us to act in an exalted, dignified, and truly human way!

 

 

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Isaac Farhi

Sun, June 24 2018 11 Tammuz 5778