From Reb Sally Shore Wittenberg
Parshat Shabbat Beshelach Shabbat Shirah -
Tu B’Shvat וט ’ טבשב February 8, 2020 10AM
This week's Torah portion is Parshat Beshelach, this
Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shirah - the Shabbat of Song.
In it we find the ancient poem - shirat hayam - Song of the Sea, the spontaneous celebratory song lead by Moses and Miriam upon the safe crossing of the Sea of Reeds. Come prepared to sing songs of freedom and to share your own or your family stories of liberation and redemption.
Our reading begins after the final plague in which God kills the Egyptian’s firstborn children. The Israelites flee, make camp and can see Pharaoh's army approach. They feel overwhelmed and Moshe reassures them and urges them to move forward. After a long, windy, and fear-filled night,
Moses raises his arm, God splits the sea,the Israelites cross over and the pursuing Egyptian army is drowned. As they safely reach the shore, Moshe sings the Song of the Sea and Miriam leads the women in song. Soon afterward tin repsonce to a lack of water and food, God turns the bitter water sweet and for the next 40 years provides enough manna to satisfy every person.
We also celebrate Tu B’shvat - The New Year of the trees. Consider bringing a tree fruit to share at Kiddush!
Our contemplative and song filled services begin at 10AM followed by our famous Kerhonkson Pot-Luck Kiddush! (please bring a pareve or dairy dish to share)
I am looking forward to seeing you on Shabbat!
Reb Sally questions? contact me at
I hope it was a glowing holiday season with enough
sparks of light to hold you through the darkest days.
This week, to throw up more sparks, there will be a
Shabbat morning service at the Kerhonkson Synagogue
followed by Kiddush and the Mussar group.
In our Torah discussion and throughout the prayer service, we will be looking at the concluding chapters of the book of Genesis, parshat Vayehi. The exciting and sometimes confounding Genesis narrative of our patriarchs and matriarchs comes to an end with the death of Jacob and then Joseph leading the way into the book of Exodus, (1:8)where “... there arose up a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.”
Please join us on Shabbat, January 11 at 10AM for a music filled contemplative service woven through with Torah discussion, followed as always by the most delicious Kerhonkson Synagogue pot-luck Kiddush . Please bring a dairy (vegetarian) or pareve (vegan) dish to share. Following Kiddush there will be an open Mussar group discussion of equanimity.
I hope to see you there!
Sending blessings of warmth and light,
We find ourselves in the darkest time of the year, the three weeks leading up and after the winter solstice. The sun rises, and stays rather low in the sky until afternoon when it makes a quick getaway for the horizon. It can be a challenge to keep one’s spirits bright!
Toward the goal of increasing warmth and light in these darker days,
the Kerhonkson Synagogue has a special weekend of joyous services planned.
We begin with Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday December 13 at 6PM, following by a wine and cheese Oneg Shabbat. This joyous and music filled service is specifically designed to help us transition from the week of doing and working into the Shabbat time of peace. Our Hiho Cantor Bill Magaliff and other friends from my Westchester synagogue will be joining us.
On Saturday December 14, we offer our regular monthly Shabbat morning service at 10AM followed by our, by now, world famous Kerhonkson Synagogue pot-luck Kiddush lunch (pareve or dairy/vegan or vegetarian).
After Kiddush our ongoing Mussar group will meet to discuss “silence" and what comes as the next middah.
All are welcome!
Pirkei Avot: A Modern Commentary by Leonard Kravitz and Kerry Olitsky (Liberal commentary with essays and gleanings from the text)
Sage Advise: Pirkei Avot by Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Open/Modern Orthodox scholar of the 20-21C)
Pirkei Avot: Lev Shalem by Rabbiâ€™s Gordon Tucker and Tamar Elad-Appelbaum (Conservative/Mesorti Rabbis bring a scholarly, historic and mystical commentary)