HNK

Light over darkness – Chanukah Party!

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, December 23rd
Light Candles at 15:41

Join us Tonight!
Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30
Followed by Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat, December 24th,
Shabbat Ends 17:07
Torah Portion: Vayeishev

Light over darkness

The Chanukah story happened so long ago – yet carries a timely message for us, even today.
Science has given us the greatest technologies and conveniences, yet it alone cannot free us from the moral and social challenges of our day. From gun violence and simmering racial tension, to corruption in politics and distrust of Wall Street, material pursuits alone do not lead to a happy and meaningful life.
Our children need a better diet than the value-system fed to them by Hollywood, the Internet and mass media. They need, nay, they want, inspiration, a noble cause to live for, a moral purpose that frames their pursuits and interests with meaning and direction.
Judaism teaches that every human being is created in the image of the Divine, charged with the duty to illuminate his or her surroundings, to make our universe a better place, a brighter place, a holier place.
A wise person once said, “Don’t chase away darkness with a broom; simply light a candle.” Darkness has no reality of its own – it’s merely the absence of light. Let’s teach our youth that they are the Menorah, and in a world of moral darkness, one small act of goodness and kindness will cast a light of epic proportions – just like the tiny flask of oil that miraculously burned for eight days.

Over Chanukah we will be having a few opportunities to shed Light over Darkness,
Please Join us:

1) Saturday evening December 24th at 20:00 Revaluation Square – Public Menorah Lighting
2) Monday evening December 26th at 20:30 Stari Arbat (corner of Kaloshin per.) Public Menorah Lighting
3) Thursday evening December 29th at 19:30 IJC – Center for Jewish Life – Chanukah Party – Asian Buffet – Details below:
Please join us on December 29th
at 19:30
for our annual
Chanukah Party!

* Asian Buffet
* Assorted Latkes
* Edible Sushi Menorah
* Fortune Doughnuts
* Oriental Menorah Lighting
* Dreidels & Gelt
* Music & Lechaim

International Jewish Community Center
“Center for Jewish Life”
per. Kaloshin, 12с1,
1500p. Per a Person
RSVP TODAY
Chanukah@JewishMoscow.com

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Yanky and Rivky Klein

This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM

Finding peace

Finding Peace

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, December 16th
Light Candles at 15:38

Join us Tonight!
Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30
Followed by Shabbat Dinner

Shabbat, December 17th,
Shabbat Ends 17:04
Torah Portion: Vayishlach

Finding Peace

What is peace? Is it just the absence of conflict? Or is it the result of active rapprochement between two otherwise incompatible parties, bringing them to a sense of unity and synthesis?
In other words, does a couple find peace when they’ve stopped quibbling, or when they’ve learned to work together toward a joint goal?

From a Torah perspective, it’s the latter.

And from that same perspective, our entire lives are about creating peace. An isolationist existence isn’t a genuinely peaceful existence. True peace is living an engaged existence, one in which I’m interacting with others – many of whom have personalities/approaches that don’t easily sync with mine – and creating quality, productive associations.

And it’s not just about human interactions; it’s about engagement with the world at large. Every day, we encounter situations and objects which need to be reconciled with our Higher Purpose. Our mission is to create peace.

Imagine the box top of a huge jigsaw puzzle. The picture gives you a projection of how the finished product should look, and that helps you discern how to properly place the seemingly – and sometimes annoyingly – random piece in your hand.

The Torah is our box top; it gives us an image of how life should look. We’re dealt little puzzle pieces all day – good news and sad news, pleasant conversations and irritating ones, food that’s suitable for our intake and some we should avoid, etc. Our job is to pause and consider the box top’s guidance. Pause and contemplate where this object or opportunity fits into life, put it into its proper place, and keep building that puzzle.

This process is the way we bring peace to ourselves and to our world. We bring oneness and synchronicity to a seemingly random, disconnected universe. We find wholeness. We find peace.

Every Friday night, we reflect on our week’s puzzle-building. And every Friday night, G-d takes pleasure in our progress.

Before we recite the Kiddush, sanctifying this Holy day of Divine Satisfaction, we turn to the angels and sing Shalom Aleichem’, ‘Welcome Angels of Peace.’

Angels are Divine functionaries which G-d creates to interface with humanity. Friday night’s angels represent the peace we’ve created all week. They, in turn, convey G-d’s blessing for the strength to create peace in the week ahead.

TONIGHT, put your life on pause. Join us for Shabbat services; take the opportunity to welcome YOUR angels.

Bring on the peace.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Yanky and Rivky Klein

This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM

Connection

Finding Connection

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, December 2nd
Light Candles at 15:43

Join us Tonight!
PLEASE NOTE: Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 18:00
Shabbat FAMILY Adventure

Shabbat, December 3rd,
Shabbat Ends 17:06
Torah Portion: Toldot

Finding Connection

Jews pray.

Abraham prayed. Isaac prayed. Jacob prayed.

At the same time, it seems that prayer’s beauty doesn’t always come easily. Perhaps that’s because we can’t assume that simply opening a prayer book will bring us to an emotional connection with the

Divine. One needs the right mental posture, and some emotional availability, to bring prayer to life.

Prayer can be a powerful exercise, but it needs some preliminary attitude adjustment.

One aspect of this can be found in the Talmud’s advice to give charity before we pray. Many spiritual
Masters would, as preparation for their prayers, seek opportunities to help the poor, because we believe that one’s personal prayers are energized by one’s contribution to another’s life.

Why? Charity is a great thing. But what connection does it have with my prayers? How do we connect the dots between helping the pauper and our personal prayer enthusiasm?

Authentic prayer requires a sense of need. Prayer is about yearning and connecting. Yearning for, and connecting with, my G-d. Yearning for, and connecting with, my destiny. Yearning for, and connecting with, my higher self. Yearning is the soul of prayer, because it means that I recognize something beyond me. I yearn to reach higher, to do better, to outrun my weaker self.

Conversely, if I’m all wrapped up in myself, I’m not yearning for anything. I’m not seeing higher; I’m just seeing me.

Scripture describes the human soul as “G-d’s flame”, and that imagery reflects the yearning idea.

Just as the flame flickers higher, seemingly trying to reach beyond itself, so too does the soul consistently yearn to touch the Divine. In this vein, Chassidic thought sees our charity as important therapy. If we can bring ourselves to feel for others’ needs, if we can crawl out of ourselves to empathize with someone else, then we’re ready to yearn. The Tzedaka exercise helps us leave our own self-focus, and venture into the world of relationship with Other. It enables us to connect with the people you see to your right and to your left.

And it enables you to connect with G-d. Just look up.

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Yanky and Rivky Klein

This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM