Jewish Community Center

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

Shabbat Bo

Exodus 10:1-13:16
Candle Lighting time 4:39 p.m.


When I taught in Hebrew school, I sometimes used the motto “Question Authority” to get the attention of my students. I was not inviting them to challenge my authority; I was encouraging them to ask me questions. Some education experts say that more learning takes place when teachers answer questions than when they impart information. By nature, we all place a higher value on what we want to know than on what someone wants to tell us.


There is, of course, a place for both types of teaching, but encouraging questions is the bedrock of Jewish education. The first example of this pedagogical approach can be found in this week’s Torah portion, Bo. Even before our ancestors left Egypt, the Lord instructed Moses to institute a ritual that would invite questions. The Passover celebration would serve two purposes: It would remind the adults of God’s deliverance, and it would cause their children to ask about it. “And when your children ask you, ’What do you mean by this rite?’ You shall say, ‘it is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when he smote the Egyptians the saved are houses’” (Ex. 12:26-7).



Although we don’t offer up the Paschal sacrifice anymore, at every Passover Seder we carry on this tradition of asking questions. Sitting around the table the youngest child asks the four questions, the Ma Nishtanah. Children and adults are encouraged to ask questions to make the Seder not only interesting, but also educational.


“Why” can be an annoying question, but it can also be a wonderful opportunity to give a reason for our faith. Instead of being impatient when others ask questions, we can be thankful they have a heart and mind open to learning. Questions give us the opportunity to answer lovingly and carefully, knowing that our words may reignite the Jewish soul within each Jew


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


Service Schedule

Shabbat 9:30 a.m.

Save the Date!

Shabbat, . February 2, 6:00 PM Join us for a short Friday night, Kabbalat Shabbat, service. Surrounding our traditional Shabbat dinner will be our annual Tu B'Shevat Seder. The dots influence of the Seder will be the appetizers so you don't want to come late. There will be a vegetarian option available for dinner. There is no charge for marathon members. Although donations are most appreciated to help us cover the cost of the dinner. RSVP by Monday, January 29. Call the office to RSVP and let us know if you need a ride. 718-428-1580.


Don't forget to place your orders for your Purim baskets to be sent to your friends to fulfill the mitzvah ofmishloac manot. 




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