Jewish Community Center

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

Shabbat Tazria-Metzora

Lev. 12:1-15:33
Candle Lighting time 7:23 p.m.


Inventor with R. G. LeTourneau is known for his enormous earth-moving machines. One of his products was known simply by the name, “Model G.” A prospective buyer, hoping to stump a salesman, asked, “What does the ‘G’ stand for?”


“I guess the G stands for gossip,” was the salesman’s quick reply. “Because, like gossip, this machine moves a lot of dirt, and moves it fast!”


“Playing on the linguistic similarity of the Hebrew for ‘leper’ (m’tzora) and the Hebrew for one who gossips (motzi shem ra), the sages consider leprosy to be a punishment for the sins of slander and malicious gossip (Lev. R 16:1)”(Etz Hayyim commentary below the line, page 652) The Book of Proverbs as a lot to say about gossip: Those who gossip are untrustworthy (11:13) and should be avoided (20:19). Gossip separates the closest of friends (16:28) and keeps relational strife boiling (18:8). It pours fuel on the coals of conflict, feeding the flames of hurt and misunderstanding (26:21-22).


Who doesn’t know from experience that gossip is a damaging whisper. We fool ourselves into thinking that those juicy, whispered comments here and there are harmless. But gossip leaves behind a wide swath of destruction and is never a victimless crime. Someone is always hurt. So here’s a word to the wise: “Where there is no talebearer, strife ceases” (Prov. 26:20).


Let’s leave the dirt-moving to big machines. Put the shovels away and revel in the joy of gossip-free relationships!


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Greene


Service Schedule

Shabbat 9:30 a.m.


Save the Date!

Sunday, April 22, 3 p.m.

At the Forest Hills Jewish Center

Carbon dioxide is rising at an unprecedented rate, chiefly due to fossil fuel use and clearing of forests. Humanity has started an uncontrolled experiment that is like putting our climate on a “hot plate.”


With greenhouse gases rising to levels not seen in tens of millions of years, understanding past eras helps us understand our future. A Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at Queens College, Dr. Pekar will talk about what the Earth’s climate was like when the level of greenhouse gases was as high as predicted for this century.


Dr. Pekar’s research has taken him on expeditions around the world, including Antarctica, to understand climate and oceanographic changes 16 to 45 million years ago and what that means for humanity’s future. He will also discuss what we can do to create a more sustainable world.  


Free. Donation requested.


The Forest Hills Jewish Center is located at 106-06 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills, NY 11375.  Enter on the side of the building.

The Interfaith Community Action Committee (Environmental Subcommittee of which Marathon is a member) is a co-sponsor of this Queens Earth Day Event with the Central Queens Y for Sunday, April 22 at 3 PM. The Central Queens Y has merged with the Samuel Field Y in Little Neck, and we hope to collaborate on a number of future events. I have spoken to Peggy Kurtz, the director of the Cultural Arts and Jewish Heritage Programs at the Central Queens Y, and she is excited about this collaboration.

Thursday, May 3rd celebrate Lag B'Omer with a hot dod dinner an see the movie  "The Band's Visit" Dinner is $10.00 pp and the movie is free. Make tyour reservations at the synogogue's office


Shavuot Schedule;

Saturday, May 19th at 7:00 p.m. Mincha followed by our Tikun L'al Shavuot. In honor of Israel's 70th birthday we shall study what the Talmud has to say about the love of the land of Israel.  We shall also look at two short stories, Three gifts by I. L. Peretz and the Fable of the Goat  by Shi Agnon, which are based on our Talmud selection. We shall also read some contemporary Zionist thought to see the tensions that we shall learn in the Talmud still reverberate today. No previous Talmud or Hebrew reading knowledge required.  Cheese cake, coffee, and tea will be served.  8:50 p.m.  Ma'ariv and the discussion continues

Sunday, May 20th at 9:00 a.m. The Boker Tov Cafe Opens.  10:00 a.m. Our Outdoor Renewal Shavuot Service, weather permitting.  


Monday, May 21st at  9:00 a.m. the Boker  Tov Cafe Opens. 9:30 a.m. Services Begin with Yizkor around 11:00 a.m.


Thursday, May 24th - Sisterhood's annual mah-jongg/card party. RSVP $20.00 PP includes lunch.


Sunday, June 3rd - Celebrate Israel Parade: $18.00 includes round trip bus, commemorative T-shirt, a light snack and bottled water. For those who are unable to attend a donation of $18 or more will get you a t-shirt. The deadline is May 1st!


In the Community

Sunday April, 23 - Queen's Earth Day- Prof. Stephen Pekar

THE LAST TIME IT GOT THIS HOT ON EARTH: A Climate Scientist Looks Back and Then Forward to a Sustainable Future



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