Rabbi Howard Finkelstein
Chazan Yair Subar
President Howard Nadler ~~~~~~~~~~~ Parashat Matot – Masei
Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat: 7:00 pm
Candle Lighting: 8:24 pm
Shabbat Ends: 9:31 pm
Sefer Torah Sponsor: Deborah & Lou Davis and Minda & Peter Wershof
Please note that the office will be closed until July 28. The office will reopen on July 31st. Email and messages will be monitored throughout the week.If you have an emergency please contact Rabbi Finkelstein.
The Downstairs Minyan will be running for the next 3 Shabbatot (July 22,29 and August 5) at 8:30 am.
From the Rabbi’s Desk – Parashat Matot – Masei:
A term that has manifested itself numerous times in the media as of late and related to judicial procedure is “recusa”™ defined as one’s personal disqualification from involvement in a particular case that can invoke conflict of interest. Obviously, conscious and sub-conscious motivations can influence a judge or official to pursue a certain course of action that may be deliberately self serving.
This concept exists in Jewish law and is translated as a “negiah bedavar”. In other words, it redounds to a judge’s benefit to rule in a certain way in a case if his own interests are enhanced. But conflict of interest is only one aspect of human behaviour. Even in terms of nefarious conduct, the Talmud declares that one only sins if he benefits from his actions.
Ever mindful of the relationship between man and society, the Torah warns the individual to be innocent in the eyes of G-d and of Israel as indicated in this week’s parsha of Matot. In granting the tribes of Reuven, Gad and half of Menashe the right to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River, Moshe holds the people of these groups responsible to adhere to their promise to help the other nine and a half tribes conquer the land of Canaan. Moshe admonishes them to be above reproach and suspicion.
The Talmud Yerushalmi, Shekalim, cites this admonition of Moshe as the prime example of biblical text necessitating proper behaviour that is of such high moral character that nobody can question it. The Torah Temimah comments that this quote of Moshe is an a priori statement that presupposes the need of all individuals to live a life, the probity of which, is not questioned by others. One’s need to be innocent in the eyes of G-d and of Israel is a sine qua non of Jewish existence. Our relationships with G-d and man are treated equally in the eyes of Jewish law and outlook.
The failure to recuse oneself when necessary is a poor excuse for human behaviour. Hillelâ’s famous expression regarding the need to care for oneself because no one else will, is balanced by the second part of his statement, that if one only cares about oneself, what is that person? Yes, we must look after our needs, but at the same time we must be mindful not to allow the suspicions of others to cloud our good intentions.
SHABBAT MORNING TOT SHABBAT PROGRAM: FOR CHILDREN 0-7 YEARS OF AGE FROM 10:30 – 11:30 AM.Please join us for prayers, singing, stories, games, and snacks. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children ages 2 and under.
To ensure this program runs smoothly and on time please make sure children are in the
Youth lounge at 10:30.
ONGOING CLASSES OFFERED BY RABBI FINKELSTEIN:Everyone is welcome at no charge.
GEMARA: Wednesday evenings after Ma’ariv. Please check calendar in case of shifting.
SHABBAT CLASSES: Parsha and Halacha class between Mincha and Ma’ariv.
Donations: * General Donations: $18
* Siddurim: Koren/Artscroll $50
* Koren Talmud Bavli: $100
* Wall of Honour/brick: $118