Jewish Community Center

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

Shabbat Yitro

Exodus 18:1-20:22
Friday, February 17th


In this week’s parasha, Yitro, the Children of Israel hear the 10 commandments from upon Mt. Sinai. The 9th commandment is “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Ex. 20:13) According to the Chezyanot Avraham this commandment was the prerequisite for all the commandments that follow for honesty is the best policy.


Nelson Mandela, who opposed the South African apartheid regime and was imprisoned for almost 3 decades, knew the power of words. He is often quoted today, but while in prison his words could not be quoted for fear of repercussion. A decade after his release he said: “It is never my custom to use words lightly. If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are, and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”


King Solomon, according to tradition is the author of book of Proverbs. He wrote often about the power of words. He said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). Words have the potential to produce positive or negative consequences (v. 20). They have the power to give life through encouragement and honesty or to crush and kill through lies and gossip. How can we be assured of producing good words that have a positive outcome? The only way is by diligently guarding our hearts: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).


God wants us to transform our hearts so that our words can truly be their best—honest, calm, appropriate, and suitable for the situation.


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


Service Schedule

Friday night 7:00 p.m.
Shabbat 10:00 a.m.


Save the Date!

Shabbat, February 18th Celebrate Tu Bishvat with us with our annual “outdoor” renewal service indoors. Our theme will be “Let the Earth Teach You Torah.” As usual we shall use meditation, movement, song, and prayer explanation to enhance our prayers.  Services begin at 10:00 a.m. with the Boker Tov Café opened at 9:00 a.m. Dress casually. Our Tu Bishvat Seder and luncheon follows immediately after services.


Wednesday, Februrary 15th, 7:15 p.m. Sisterhood's women's Rosh Hodesh Shevat celebratin with meditation, craft project, learning, eating, laughing, and just enjoying each other's company. $5.00 cover charge for food and materials.  RSVP today calling the office or writing us at


Sunday, Feburary 19th , 11:00 a.m. Our next Israeli film in our film festival will be Time of Favor Time of Favor is Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar's 2000 debut film, starring Aki Avni. Winner of Six Israeli Oscars including Best Picture, "Time of Favor" is a taut thriller about the tense relationship between the orthodox nationalists and the military. Both a political-psychological drama and a love story between a passionate woman and two best friends, "Time of Favor" raises important questions of faith to one's religion, duty to one's nation, and love for oneself.


The New York Times called it an "art house thriller," and the Los Angeles Times said it was "one of the most successful contemporary Israeli films." 



Missed a weekly message? Visit the Rabbi's Archives here