Jewish Community Center

Opening Doors to Spirituality, Social Consciousness, and Community A Friendly Egalitarian Conservative Congregation

Shabbat Haazinu

Deuteronomy 32:1-52
Friday, September 21 Candle Lighting time 6:37 PM
Sunday and Monday, September 23rd and 24th, Sukkot Candle Lighting time 6:25 PM

Just below the snowy peak of Mt. Shasta, near the headwaters of the Sacramento River in California, an icy-cold underground spring gushes out of the side of a cliff. People flock there to fill their jugs with the refreshing liquid.


Water quenches our thirst and sustains our life. Sukkot begins this Sunday night with holiday services Monday and Tuesday mornings at 9:30 AM. When the Temple stood in Jerusalem there was a joyous celebration called Simchat Bet Hashoavah. “Every day of the year, after the sacrifice was burned, an offering of wine was poured on the altar. During Sukkot, there was also a water libation (nisukh hamayim). Some have suggested that it was a folk rite, an inducement for rain made by pouring out water at the season’s onset, transformed by the rabbis into a symbolic Temple ritual.


“Each morning of Sukkot, the priests went to the pool of Siloah (Silwan) near Jerusalem to fill a golden flask. Shofar blasts greeted their arrival at the Temple’s Water Gate. They then ascended and poured the water so that it flowed over the altar simultaneously with wine from another bowl. 


“Based on Isaiah’s promise “With joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation” (12:3), rejoicing began at the end of the first day and took place every night except Shabbat. Talmud recorded that “one who had never witnessed the Rejoicing at the Place of the Water Drawing had never seen true joy in his life.” (Although the celebration was for the libation that would be made the next morning it was named for the preparation for the ritual — the water drawing — which the rabbis said showed that getting ready was sometimes of greater merit than the mitzvah, or commandment, itself because of its positive effect on the person doing it.) ” (


Although we don’t perform this ritual today, Sukkot culminating with Simchat Torah reminds us that we have continual source of spiritual refreshment. Of course I’m referring to the Torah which has been compared to water because revives those who study it.


Are you thirsty today? This Sukkot make Torah study part and parcel of your week. Be on the lookout when my Tuesday morning classes began. We study the weekly Torah portion during the first hour of class.


Shabbat Shalom and Hag Samayach,

Rabbi Greene


Once again we need your help to make a minyan for our Friday night. Please call the office and let us know that we can count on you.  


Service Schedule

Friday night 7:00 p.m.
Shabbat 9:30 a.m.
Mon. & Tues 9:30 a.m.


Save the Date!

Wednesday, September 26 from 7 PM-9 PM at the Samuel Field Y; a gathering of concerned citizens. People of faith from all the synagogues and churches in the Little Neck /Douglaston area rally for compassion and justice. Guest speakers and small breakout groups dealing with issues of concern, immigration reform gun violence, environmental policies, and bullying in the school system.
Saturday, September 29 at 10 AM join us for our annual outdoor Sukkot renewal morning service. Dressed casually.
Earlybird Sukkot dinner September 30, 4 PM. $20 per person reservations and payment must be received ASAP. After the earlybird dinner Marty Schneit, a historian and New York City tour guide will give a multimedia presentation on Irving Berlin, an American institution. You don't have to join us for dinner to attend Marty's presentation.
Simchat Torah 5779, Monday, October 1 at 7 PM and Tuesday, October 2 at 9:30 AM and join us after services for our annual sitdown chollent kiddush. Day



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