Weekly Shabbat Messages

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, May 15, 2015Click here to view our archived Shabbat messages.

Tabernacle. Temple. Synagogue

In ancient Israel, the Israelites in the wilderness worshipped at the Tabernacle which was constructed according the plan revealed in the Book of Exodus. In fact... more than a quarter of the Book of Exodus concerns itself with the building of the Tabernacle. Later, during the time of King Solomon, the Temple was built to replace the more portable Tabernacle. They were similar in design – although the Temple was MUCH more elaborate and grand. Despite the difference in scope, these two ritual structures were simple in design. There was an outside courtyard where the people could stand and witness the sacrifices. In those days, the sacrifices were carried out by the priests of Israel who inherited their positions and were the intermediaries between the Israelites and God. The Israelites themselves brought animals, vegetables, and even bread to the Tabernacle or Temple to be offered up by the priests. It was thought that the sacrifices, especially the burnt offerings were a gift to the Hebrew good, providing a “sweet smell” for God’s pleasure.

There were three sections to both these structures. An outer courtyard where the people of Israel would watch the priests enacting the sacrifices. Then an inner courtyard which contained ritual objects such as the seven branched menorah, the incense altar, the altar table for the sacrifice of 12 loaves of bread.  But the third section, the inner chamber called the Kodesh Kodashim – the Holy of Holies – was the holiest place to the Jewish world. It contained the Ark of the Covenant (you know... the one from the Indiana Jones movie). In the Ark of the Covenant were the stone tablets of the covenant – both the first shattered ones, and the second stable ones. This area was so holy that only the High Priest was allowed to enter – and even that was only on one day of the year – Yom Kippur. The high priest was dressed in robes, a turban and breast plate with 12 sacred stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel.

So what happened, you might ask, after the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70. By then, the children of Israel had created an alternative place of worship which existed as an alternative to the Temple: The synagogue! And... the synagogue was structured like the Tabernacle! Instead of the outer courtyard, there is a place for the congregation to sit. The inner courtyard with the ritual objects became the Bimah – the raised staged on which the Torah is read for the Torah readings in the synagogue. And the Holy of Holies containing the Ark of the Covenant? That’s the Holy Ark at the front of the synagogue which contains the Torah Scrolls. Even the priestly clothing is transformed in the modern synagogue into the covers, crowns and breastplates of the Torah Scrolls themselves.

The Temple in Ancient Jerusalem

A Sephardic Synagogue

Shabbat Shalom

  

 

 

Past Shabbat Messages

Shabbat & Secret Jews - Friday, April 26, 2013

Out of the Land of Heaven - Friday, May 3, 2013

Almost Shavuot - Friday, May 10, 2013

Cakes on Shabbat - Friday, May 17, 2013

Dressing Up for Shabbat (Part I) - Friday, May 24, 2013

Dressing Up for Shabbat (Part II) - Friday, May 31, 2013

Solomon's Temple and the Shabbat - Friday, June 7, 2013

Shabbat Starts When? - Friday, June 14, 2013 & June 13, 2014

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part I - Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part 2 - Friday, June 28, 2013

Making Commandments Beautiful: Part 3 - Friday, July 5, 2013

Crypto Jews and the Shabbat - Friday, July 12, 2013

Shabbat Nachamu... The Sabbath of Consolation - Friday, July 19, 2013

Bialik and Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, July 26, 2013

Angels and Shabbat - Friday, August 2, 2013

Shabbat in the Land of the Midnight Sun - Friday, August 9, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem As Told By Jody-  Friday, August 16, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem II As Told By Jody - Friday, August 23, 2013

The Streets of Jerusalem - Friday, August 30, 2013

The Final Heat – Closing in on Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat - Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Shabbat and Yom Kippur - Friday, September 13, 2013

Species, Species and More Species - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shabbat Breishit - Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Evening & Morning - Friday, October 4, 2013

Singing and the Sabbath - Friday, October 11, 2013 & Friday, May 9, 2014

The Rainy Season - Friday, October 18, 2013

The Triennial Torah Cycle - Friday, October 25, 2013

The Sabbath and the Temple - Friday, November 1, 2013

It Is All In the Timing - Friday, November 8, 2013

Challah - Friday, November 15, 2013

Why is the Challah Braided? - Friday, November 22, 2013

Shabbat, Thanksgivukkah and Beyond - Friday, November 29, 2013

Carrying on Shabbat - Friday, December 6, 2013

Eruv Art - Friday, December 13, 2013

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness - Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness Continued - Friday, December 27, 2013

The First Shabbat of the Year - Friday, January 3, 2014

Shabbat Shirah - Friday, January 10, 2014

Shabbat and Trees - Friday, January 17, 2014

Strangers in our Midst - Friday, January 24, 2014

The Ten Commandments, Part I - Friday, January 31, 2014

The Ten Commandments, Part II - Friday, February 7, 2014

Shabbat, Babylonians, Tacitus, and the Communists - Friday, February 14, 2014

The Shabbat Umbrella - Friday, February 21, 2014

Lighting Shabbat Candles - Friday, February 28, 2014

Philip Roth and Shabbat - Friday, March 7, 2014

Shabbat Zachor - Friday, March 14, 2014

Shabbat in Amsterdam - Friday, March 21, 2014

Ahad Ha’am and the Shabbat - Friday, March 28, 2014

Shabbat at the JCCA Biennial - Friday, April 4, 2014

Shabbat HaGadol – The Great Sabbath - Friday, April 11, 2014

Challah on the Shabbat During Passover? - Friday, April 18, 2014

Shabbat and the Counting of the Omer - Friday, April 25, 2014

Shabbat and the First Yom Ha’Atzmaut - Friday, May 2, 2014

Sabbaths and Sabbaticals - Friday, May 16, 2014

Light and Dark and theShabbat - Friday, May 23, 2014

Learning on Shabbat - Friday, May 30, 2014

The Shabbat After Shavuot - Friday, June 6, 2014

Shabbat in Outer Space - Friday, June 20, 2014

The Longest Friday of the Year - Friday, June 27, 2014

Shabbat and the 4th of July - Friday, July 4, 2014

The Fast of Tammuz - Friday, July 11, 2014

The Three Weeks - Friday, July 18, 2014

Haftarot for the Three Weeks - Friday, July 25, 2014

The Ninth of Av - Friday, August 1, 2014

Sabbath Peace - Friday, August 8, 2014

All You Need is Love - Friday, August 15, 2014

The Secular Shabbat - Friday, August 22, 2014

Labor Day - Friday, August 29, 2014

Elul - Friday, September 5, 2014

Philip Roth and Shabbat - Friday, September 12, 2014

The Last Shabbat of 5774 - Friday, September 19, 2014

Shabbat Shuvah - Friday, September 26, 2014

Shabbat and Yom Kippur - Friday, October 3, 2014

Species, Species and More Species - Friday, October 10, 2014 

Bialik and Kabbalat Shabbat - Friday, October 31, 2014

Akeidat Yitzchak... The Binding of Isaac - Friday, November 7, 2014

Saving the Jewish People - Friday, November 14, 2014

Shabbat and the Artist - Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving - Friday, November 28, 2014

Shabbat and the ‘Cello - Friday, December 5, 2014

Short Friday - Friday, December 12, 2014

The Seven Day Week - Friday, December 19, 2014

Celebrating the Sabbath in Darkness - Friday, December 26, 2014

The First Shabbat of the Year - Friday, January 2, 2015

The Kiddush - Friday, January 9, 2015

Bread - Friday, January 16, 2015

Covering the Challah - Friday, January 23, 2015

Shabbat Shirah - Friday, January 30, 2015

A Kind of World to Come - Friday, February 6, 2015

Orchestras on Shabbat? - Friday, February 20, 2015

Shabbat Zachor - Friday, February 27, 2015

The Word “Shabbat” - Friday, March 6, 2015

Shabbat and Daylight Savings Time - Friday, March 13, 2015

Saturday Not Sunday - Friday, March 20, 2015

The Shabbat of Kings - Friday, March 27, 2015

The Seder/Shabbat Confluence - Friday, April 3, 2015

Shabbat: Passover and Not Passover - Thursday, April 9, 2015

Post Pesach Shabbat - Friday, April 17, 2015

Shabbat in Israel - Friday, April 24, 2015

Two Shabbatot: Israel and America - Friday, May 1, 2015

Tabernacle. Temple. Synagogue - Friday, May 15, 2015