Jewish Community Center

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

Shabbat Mishpatim

Exodus 21:1-24:18
Candle Lighting time 5:22 p.m.

Napoleon's defeat in Russia 200 years ago was attributed to the harsh Russian winter. One specific problem was that his horses were wearing summer horseshoes. When winter came, these horses died because they slipped on icy roads as they pulled the supply wagons. The failure of Napoleon’s supply chain reduced his 400,000-strong army to just 10,000. A small slip; a disastrous result!


Commenting upon the verse in this week’s Torah portion of Mishpatim, “Distance yourself from a false word” (23:7), Rabbi Abraham Twersky writes: “There are many rabbinic ordinances enacted as precautionary measures to prevent one from transgressing a Scriptural prohibition. However, this is the only instance where the Torah itself adds a precautionary measure. It is not satisfied with saying, “You shall not lie to one another” (Lev. 19:11), but adds, “Distance yourself from a false word.” (Twersky on Chumash, page 154)


A slip of the tongue can do great damage. One false word can change the careers or destinies of people. The problem has increased in our modern world as a careless email or a posting on a social media site can cause great harm. It quickly goes viral and can’t be retracted. Fake news cemented lies in the minds of followers to the extent that a man drove 6 hours with a rifle and a gun to a Washington Pizza parlor to free young children who were purported to be sex slaves and were part of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton. I worry now because we have an administration who calls bald faced lies “alternative facts.”


King David tied respect for the Lord with the way we use our words. He wrote, “I will teach you the fear of the Lord. . . . Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies” (Ps. 34:11, 13). He resolved, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth” (Ps. 39:1).


Lord, help us to do the same. 


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


Service Schedule

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


Save the Date!

Thursday, March 2nd and 16th 7:30 p.m. -9:30 p.m. Make your own Tallit-a workshop led by Judy Greene.  Open to all Men, Women, Boys, and Girls.


Saturday night, March 11th 7:00 p.m. We celebrate Purim with a Megillah reading.


Sunday, April 23rd 10:30 a.m. Our Community-wide observance of Yom Hashoa is being held at Marathon this year.


Sunday, June 4th Join us as  we march in the Celebrate Israel Parade



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