Feel the love

Feel the Love!

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, January 27th
Light Candles at 16:34

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

Shabbat, January 28th,
Shabbat Ends 17:55
Torah Portion: Va’eira

To feel loved is to feel trust.

To feel loved is to know that you have a safe relationship, one which even your greatest weaknesses can’t destroy.

To feel loved is to feel that someone genuinely wants you to be your best self, because that’s the best for YOU.

To feel loved is to never be alone, even when there’s no one around for miles.

G-d’s profound gift to us is pure love.

Our very existence is an act of G-d’s love.

And our opportunities to develop an ever-greater connection with the Divine, our Mitzvot, are given to us as an act of love.

Years ago, I met with a young lady who professed disenchantment with her Judaism. She told me that she had completed Hebrew School, been “Bat-Mitzvah’d and confirmed”, and majored in Judaic Studies while at University. Yet, she still hadn’t found a single Jewish authority figure willing to tell her that G-d loves her.

My heart was broken.

Our theology is built on the faith that we all have a Divine Parent Who creates us and guides us through life.

Judaism shouts G-d’s love for us.

When G-d gave us the Torah at Mount Sinai, G-d began with:
”I am G-d who took you out of Egypt”.
It’s strange. After centuries of history, G-d is finally communicating directly with humanity (as distinct from a specific prophet). It’s the big introduction.

Why not say “I am G-d Who created you”? Isn’t that a greater, more inimitable feat than freeing slaves?

Our Sages explain that G-d was establishing the First Principle, the backbone to Torah and of our relationship with the Divine: “I am G-d Who CARES about you. I took you out of Egypt, because I suffer when you suffer. I know that there will be individual “Egypts” in each of your lives and I will be there with you. Because I love you, and I’m always with you. Treasure this Torah and keep yourselves open to a relationship with me. Then you’ll feel the love”.

In G-d’s world, to live is to be loved!

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

Torah Studies

A Weekly Journey into the Soul!

The International Jewish Community is proud to present our Torah Studies catalog of our weekly classes.

At the IJC , we value a deep, rich learning experience and we aim to provide this in an unequivocal way. This is why we have brought you a Torah Studies program of the highest caliber, developed by the world-renowned Rohr

Jewish Learning Institute. The program brings you a series of stimulating text and discussion based classes that take place on a weekly basis. Our lessons will engage you in a multidimensional way by challenging you intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. They explore contemporary issues through a Torah perspective as well as tackling timeless questions in the Jewish tradition.

I invite you to browse through the topics in this catalog and to join us for some weekly inspirational study. These classes are open to all, whatever your level of learning may be, and I encourage you to bring your friends along.

Shalom,

Rabbi Yaakov Klein
IJC – Center for Jewish Life

Torah Studies

Nature VS. Nrture

What’s more valuable? The obvious passion of the honeymoon moments, or the small but thoughtful gestures that represent the effort required in a relationship? Both elements exist and are crucial to cultivating our relationship with G-d.

January 25th 2017, 8:00pm-9:00pm

International Jewish Community

Art

The Art of Communicating

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, January 20th
Light Candles at 16:20

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

Shabbat, January 21st,
Shabbat Ends 17:43
Torah Portion: Shemot

Its a Girl!
With gratitude to Hashem earlier this week we were blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl!
We are overjoyed to welcome baby Rochel to our community and extended family!
She cannot wait to meet everyone!

The Art of Communicating

Birds chirp, dogs bark, frogs croak and people speak.

All creatures communicate. Yet, Torah pinpoints our ability to speak as the factor which distinguishes us from all other life forms. Why? What makes the conversation I just had with a friend, or what I’m doing right now (communicating through the written word), so different from the dog’s bark?

My words express my thoughts and feelings. Isn’t that dog doing the same?

Human beings don’t need to act purely on instinct; they have the capacity for self- analysis and self-calibration. A human can control his strong temptation for someone else’s property, by bringing his moral compass to bear on his actions.

Human beings have the capacity to put themselves in the other’s place. When we convey an idea, we can take into account the listener’s emotional-availability, their knowledge of the subject matter and their familiarity with the lexicon being used.

In other words, human communication isn’t just about getting something off your chest; that seems more akin to animal-level communication. Communication is a connection between two parties, which means we’re investing consideration and intent as to the kind of connection we want to forge.

We can respect a person who “says it like it is,” in the sense that this person is bringing boldness and transparency to the relationship. While that may feel uncomfortable, you have benefit of “knowing where you stand.”

At the same time, there’s almost no upside to angry or impulsive communications. That’s just unloading, which isn’t humanity’s claim to communications fame.

Our instant information age has made it more challenging to maintain the human edge in transmitting thoughts and feelings. Years ago, if you awoke in middle of the night feeling resentment to someone, you couldn’t convey your feelings until the next day (unless the person lived in your house!). If you wanted to write a biting letter, you needed to sit down with a pen and paper, considering your words’ impact as you write, and then wait until you could actually deliver or mail it.

Today, the miracle of technology allows us to simply reach for the smartphone and send off whatever invective we feel.

We can do better. G-d gifted us human beings with the capacity to build real relationships. We can communicate in a way that creates connection, even when we’re criticizing.

Let’s remember: Technology can be a blessing. Or the opposite.

It’s up to us.

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

Regret

The Other Side of Victimhood

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Moscow, Russia
Friday, January 13th
Light Candles at 16:07

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

Shabbat, January 14th,
Shabbat Ends 17:31
Torah Portion: Vayechi

The Other Side of Victimhood

Sometimes, people do bad things, and sometimes you and I suffer from others’ bad choices.

So how do we respond to the pain? Sometimes there are no legal or defensive steps to take; the deed has been done and we’re left holding the proverbial bag. Revenge may feel appealing, but it doesn’t really help. Is helpless resentment the only option?

Let’s look at Joseph: He was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. That’s pretty bad.

Then Joseph has an opportunity for revenge. Through a Biblically-described chain of events, Joseph rises to the top of Egyptian society, becoming vice-Pharaoh, if you will. Meanwhile, his brothers come to Egypt looking for food, because a famine has swept across the Middle East. They don’t recognize him, but he knows exactly who they are. And he hasn’t forgotten.

He has them in the palm of his hand. He can do whatever he wants, and they are totally vulnerable.

What would you do? Sell them into slavery? Kick them out of the country without any food? Worse?

Joseph actually doesn’t focus on revenge at all. He only wants to determine whether they regret what they did to him. Once he perceives that they have genuinely repented, he embraces them.

Then he says something odd: “G-d sent me ahead of you to provide [food] for the family…You aren’t the ones who sent me here, it was actually G-d [who sent me down to Egypt].”

What is Joseph saying? Of course his brothers sold him into slavery! Is he in denial? Revising history to make them feel better?

Joseph understood that people make bad choices and that we need to protect ourselves. He also understood that his life was not totally in his abusers’ hands. Beyond an aggressor’s bad choices, there’s a victim’s soul journey, which only G-d determines. Joseph felt the pain of his brothers’ misdeed and then dug deeper, and found that G-d was giving him a mission. He could proactively extract meaning from his pain.

Whether it was his own character development, his deepened ability to empathize with other victims, or something as dramatic as rising to the top of Egyptian society, Joseph knew one thing: On the other side of his victimization, he needed to find a better Joseph.

He became the leader of his own life, transforming himself from sitting duck to soaring eagle.

A lesson for the ages

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