High Holiday Schedule


Kipahs & Prayerbooks • Personalized Prayer • Guided Services • Free admission •

Rosh HaShana Evening Services: Oct. 2nd & 3rd, Morning Services: Oct. 3rd & 4th, Registration for our Annual Rosha HaShana Dinner will open Sunday

Yom Kipur Evening Services: Oct. 11th & 12th Morning Services: Oct. 12th,

No signup necessary. No payment required for a place to pray for the High Holidays. A kipah and prayerbook will be waiting for you. Services will be interspersed with insights, explanations and page guidance.

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, September 16th Light Candles at 18:07

Join us Tonight! Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30

Shabbat, September 17th, Shabbat Ends 19:18 Torah Portion: Ki Tavo

Something to Celebrate Several years ago, I spoke with a local friend as we were walking out of Yom Kippur services. Since he had expressed reluctance about attending services, I asked him how the day had gone. He looked at me tentatively and asked "Am I allowed to say I enjoyed it?" I can see why some people think of the High Holidays as tedious or even glum. Spending hours in synagogue is only the beginning. The days' theme focuses on acknowledging our responsibility to G-d and each other; there’s also an impossible-to-miss emphasis on "atonement", which entails a process of identifying and facing our mistakes. How uplifting can all that be? It’s interesting that Chabad tradition describes a joyous enthusiasm that needs to permeate this time of year, up to and including these self-reflective, internally-scrutinous, High Holiday experiences. Because we matter to G-d. And our relationships, our personal relationships with G-d and the relationships between us human beings, are all important. Judaism tells us that our actions, each and every behavioral choice throughout the day, are very precious to G-d. They matter. Because WE matter. Our daily thoughts, words and actions rank so high on G-d’s “priority scale” that they are, to use the Rebbe’s expression, “Higher, Higher, and even Higher, to the extent that nothing else is Higher.” Think about it in terms of a parent’s connection to a child. When something is striking at the heart of their relationship, nothing is more important. Nothing. That helps us appreciate how nothing is more important to G-d than you and your life. Every move, every moment, is critically important; because every move and every moment speaks to the core of our special relationship. So this time of year presents an exciting opportunity. It’s a time to re-visit and strengthen our unbreakable, intimate connection with the Divine. And if it hurts to see that the relationship is in need of some repair, so what? Isn’t fixing and strengthening a cherished relationship something to celebrate? 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

Creating Rainbows

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, November 4th Light Candles at 16:25

Join us Tonight! Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30

Shabbat, November 5th, Shabbat Ends 17:40 Torah Portion: Noach

Creating Rainbows Clouds. We know how they’re formed. A. Water fills the earth’s streams, lakes, rivers and oceans. B. The sun’s rays evaporate some of the water, C. Droplets rise to form clouds (which eventually yield rain back to the earth). Now, let’s phrase it differently: Clouds represent the Earth’s ‘feedback’ to the skies, bringing welcome precipitation to our environment, creating overcast days, and sometimes bringing storms to shake our world. A little deeper: The ‘heavens’ - the sky for the purpose of this conversation - represents G-d, while the Earth represents Humanity. And the clouds, hovering between Heaven and Earth, represent our behavior; our behavior is our feedback to G-d, our response to His gift of life. G-d created us for a purpose: To make this a better [Holy] world. We can either acknowledge – and try to live by - that mission, or we can ignore it and live in misalignment with our core selves. Either way, we’re sending up clouds. So what do we do when we feel that life is overcast? We look for a rainbow, and they only occur when the clouds aren’t too thick and opaque. When our lives are heavily centered on self-focus, we leave no space for the rainbows. Living a good life means thinking about purpose. When we stop asking ourselves “what do I want out of life?” and begin asking “what does life want out of me?” we allow a bright ray of G-dliness to shine through. When you stand at the right attitudinal angle, looking at your day with the right perspective, you can catch the majesty of the Rainbow. And it has a message from G-d: “Let Me shine through; I’ll show you the beauty that can be found in the diverse challenges I give you. Just let your life’s droplets refract My light.” Position yourself wisely. And look for that rainbow. 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

We Are One

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, September 9th Light Candles at 18:44

Join us Tonight! Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30

Shabbat, September 10th, Shabbat Ends 19:57 Torah Portion: Shoftim

We Are One Some folks think of people much as we think of cars on a highway: each with its own origin and destination, relating to one other only to negotiate lane changes and left-hand turns. For cars, closeness is danger, loneliness is freedom. People are not cars. Cars are dead. People live. Living beings need one another, nurture one another, share destinies and reach them together. When you’re alive, closeness is warmth, loneliness is suffocating. People belong to families. Families make up communities. Communities make up the many colorful peoples of the world. And all those peoples make up a single, magnificent body with a single soul called humankind. Some chop this body into seven billion fragments and roll it back into a single mush. They want each person to do his or her own thing and relate equally to every other individual on the planet. They don’t see the point of distinct peoples. They feel such distinctions just get in the way. But we are like leaves extending from twigs branching out from larger twigs on branches of larger branches, until we reach the trunk and roots of us all. Each of us has our place on this tree of life, each its source of nurture—and on this the tree relies for its very survival. None of us walks alone. Each carries the experiences of ancestors wherever he or she roams, along with their troubles, their traumas, their victories, their hopes and their aspirations. Our thoughts grow out from their thoughts, our destinies are shaped by their goals. At the highest peak we ever get to, there they are, holding our hand, pushing us upward, providing the shoulders on which to stand. And we share those shoulders, that consciousness, that heritage with all the brothers and sisters of our people. That’s why your own people are so important: If you want to find peace with any other person in the world, you’ve got to start with your own brothers and sisters. Until then, you haven’t yet found peace within your own self. And only when you’ve found peace within yourself can you help us find peace for the entire world. Every Jew is a brother or sister of a great family of many thousands of years. Where a Jew walks, there walk sages and martyrs, heroes and heroines, legends and miracles, all the way back to Abraham and Sarah, the first two Jews who challenged the whole world with their ideals. There walk the tears, the blood and the chutzpah of millennia, the legacy of those who lived, yearned and died for a world to come, a world the way it was meant to be. Their destiny is our destiny. In us they are fulfilled. In all of us and every one of us, and all of us together. For we are all one. When one Jew does an act of kindness, all our hands extend with his or hers. If one Jew should fall, all of us stumble. If one suffers, we all feel pain. When one rejoices, we are all uplifted. In our oneness we will find our destiny, and our destiny is to be one. For we are a single body, breathing with a single set of lungs, pulsating with a single heart, drawing from a single well of consciousness. We are one. Let it be with love 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

A Family that Eats Together

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, September 2nd Light Candles at 19:03

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Shabbat, September 3rd, Shabbat Ends 20:17 Torah Portion: Re'eh

A Family that Eats Together . . . The old adage has it that “a family that prays together, stays together.” Yet I’m not sure I fully agree. I know too many people who were regularly dragged to services as children, yet now wouldn’t set foot back in a synagogue and don’t have much to do with their parents, either. You’d like to think that if parents demonstrate their priorities for religion, their children will watch and be inspired, but it doesn’t always happen that way. You can’t force someone to believe, and it takes a host of factors and circumstances to motivate the new generation to follow in the path of their parents. From my experience, more important than praying together is eating together. Making time to sit down as a family on a regular basis, catching up on each other’s lives in a non-threatening environment and breaking bread together, is a sure recipe for harmony. The highlight of Shabbat is not just the synagogue services but the Shabbat meals, with fine food, communal singing and pleasant conversation. Though not an overtly religious experience, this is often the glue that binds generations together. I don’t know many people who became religious from going to services; more commonly, it’s those people who are coming closer to Judaism who start attending synagogue. But I do know lots of people who are observant today because their family ate Shabbat meals together. A few months ago, I was speaking to a middle-aged lady, a grandmother many times over, who recalled being invited to her first-ever Shabbat meal some 30 years ago and being entranced by the easy interactions of her host family. She walked out of their house knowing that she wanted the same one day for her future children. We read in the Torah, “And you shall eat before the L rd, your G d . . . so that you may learn to fear the Lord, your God.”1 The context of the text is pointing out that the surest path to learning to fear G d is by eating before Him. It’s not the food that does it. Rather, it is our ability to transform the seemingly mundane act of eating into a religious experience. 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

The Miracle Within

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, August 26th Light Candles at 19:20 Shabbat, August 27th, Shabbat Ends 20:37 Torah Portion: Eikev

The Miracle Within "Okay Rabbi, now can we ask you some questions?" That was the challenge posed to me recently by some teens I was teaching. They really give me a run for my money -- their inquisitive questioning always has me looking for answers. "So," one of them pressed, "if it was so important for G d to make miracles, why doesn't He do them today?" The ensuing discussion drew the whole group into a debate about if, when and why miracles are relevant. The students recognized that there are miracles, great miracles, that accompany us on a daily basis, and that there are G dly people in every generation who are endowed with Divine super-natural powers. But, they argued, what about the earth-shattering, plain-for-all-to-see variety of miracles that typified the biblical era? Where – and why – have they gone? I breathed a real sigh of relief when my suggested answer finally got a thumbs-up from my hitherto skeptical colleagues. Though I must add, the idea wasn't mine. I found it in Eikev, this week's Torah reading. The ups and downs of Jewish history – the miraculous highs, the tragic lows, and the plateaus of calm in between – are well captured in the Torah readings of the last two weeks. Last week, in Va'etchanan, we read of the epic high of our story, the moment of revelation on Sinai that shaped our identity forever. No moment before or after that episode conveys the essence of Jewish faith like that experience of unity with the Divine in the desert sun. And I can well understand why my new young friends wished that they, too, were given such an opportunity. This week, however, our story takes us to our lowest fall, the episode of the Golden Calf. Only a short 40 days after the grand Sinai revelation, a crisis of faith put our existence in peril. The subsequent journey of repentance and return presaged what later became known as Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of reflection and renewal. This part of the story, the void of revelation and vacuum of divine presence, is something that I think my students appreciated all too well. Interestingly, both of these stories are followed by almost identical statements of faith that we recite at least twice daily. The Ten Commandments in last week's portion is followed by the Shema, and then, in the paragraph's second verse: "And you shall love G d, your G d..." In this week's portion, the failing at the critical moment of Moses' absence and our ultimate triumph over failure is followed by the second paragraph of the Shema: "And if you will listen," many of whose words are a copy from the first paragraph of the Shema read the week before. Despite their similarity, the subtle differences between the prayer's first and second paragraphs offer perhaps the key to our survival, and our purpose, in the thousands of years since those miraculous moments transpired—and never repeated themselves again. I'll suggest just two of them. 1. In the first paragraph, the level of our love for and relationship with G d reaches an epic high – "bechol m'odecha" ("with all your might") – which implies the highest level of selfless service for G d. Shedding any self-enhancing motive, we are asked to reach a level of unity with the Divine where our whole purpose is only to fulfill our mission. This is a manifestation of the very core of our soul, which is one with its Creator. In the second paragraph, however, this level is omitted. We are asked there "only" to love G d "bechol levavechem uvechol nafshechem" ("with all your heart and soul"). Yes, that's quite an achievement, but at least one that is within our reach if we will it. 2. In the first paragraph there is no mention of reward and consequence. In the second, our relationship with G d is very much intertwined with the fulfillment of our needs -- health, wealth, happiness, fulfillment -- or the lack thereof. Perhaps these two approaches to divine service are hinting at two different eras in our history. The first reflects our story in the glow of divine revelation -- the splitting of the sea, the Sinai experience, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, etc. In that time and place, yes, perhaps the inspiration, the certainty and the absolute knowledge that we gained from those experiences filled us with motivation and ability to follow a selfless path of total piety with no care for gain or reward. The second approach, however, follows our story in the shadow of divine concealment and spiritual confusion -- whether at the foot of the mountain on the supposed fortieth day, or in a classroom in Cape Town 2,000 years after the miracles of the Temple ceased to be. In these times our relationship with G d is one where: 1. Our selfish identity remains very much at the fore; we're not on the level of selfless unity with G d like those of a previous era. 2. Our reasons for serving G d are very much because of the gains – be they spiritual, emotional, or even material – that we see this lifestyle brings. On the surface, one might think that the first approach represents the more ideal aspiration of the Jewish people. In truth, however, it's – in a certain way – the second, more integrated approach that has a deeper and more long-lasting effect. When there aren't miracles to inspire us, we have to find the faith within. We need to initiate, to explore, to study and to appreciate what our relationship with G d really means. True, sitting in a classroom and grappling with these ideas at the foot of Table Mountain in South Africa is not nearly as inspiring as sitting at the foot of Mount Sinai when they were revealed to us. It's not as inspiring, and it's far more challenging—but it's a far greater achievement. It says much more about us, as opposed to the revelation at Mount Sinai, which spoke more about G d. Today, when we don't have the miraculous stories to solidify our beliefs, we have to find that strength within. And that is a true miracle. The moments of G d's open miracles set the foundation of our people. But now it's our miracles, miracles of faith and conviction that build the story of our people. And that, our story, is the greatest miracle of all. My eleventh-grade group seemed to think so. How about you? 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

What A Smile

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, September 16th Light Candles at 18:26

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Shabbat, September 17th, Shabbat Ends 19:37 Torah Portion: Ki Teitzei

What A Smile Do you smile? There are different types of smiles. There's the raised-corners-of-the-mouth social smile, which is basically the deliberate flexing of facial muscles to telegraph polite positivity. But there’s also the genuine, full-faced smile; the one that’s clearly proclaiming “welcome, I’m making room for you in my life.” That smile is larger than the simple movement of facial muscles and cordial interactions. That smile is a gesture that transcends simple facial expressions; it’s about offering yourself to another. A real smile means you’ve removed some of the walls between you and the world, that some ‘inner you’ is connecting with an ‘other.’ When you're on the phone, can you sometimes tell that the other person is smiling, even though you can’t see their face? When someone is genuinely smiling, his voice has a lilt of giving and openness, a flow of bonding, an embracing spirit that goes way beyond facial expressions. Polite smiles don’t express that kind of depth, because they aren’t that deep. They don't come across the phone. The Torah describes G-d as blessing us by '"shining His face" upon us, as though G-d is giving us a glowing, full-faced smile. There’s a friendly face, and then there’s a glowing face. There’s a smile, and then there’s a full-bodied smile. The difference may be difficult to describe, even intangible, but it's huge. You know it when it happens. This Jewish month of Elul, the lead-up to Rosh Hashana, is a time when we’re told that G-d is giving us a full-faced smile, an open welcome into a caring relationship. How do you respond to an open smile? Smile back. Care enough to give someone a genuine smile today. Find the faith and connection to give G-d a genuine smile today. Get into the Rosh Hashana rhythm. 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

Millions of stars

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, August 12th Light Candles at 19:54 Shabbat, August 13th, Shabbat Ends 21:17 Torah Portion: Devarim

Holmes and Watson are on a camping trip. In the middle of the night Holmes wakes up and gives Dr. Watson a nudge. "Watson" he says, "look up in the sky and tell me what you see." "I see millions of stars, Holmes," says Watson. "And what do you conclude from that, Watson?" Watson thinks for a moment. "Well," he says, "astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meterologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and we are small and insignficant. Uh, what does it tell you, Holmes?" "Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent! Dear friends, "Our home has been burned!" It happened a few thousand years ago, on Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av. From that faithful day on we've been living without our holy temple in Jerusalem. Sometimes we forget about its existence. We get ourselves used to life as it is... busy with our day to day events. Our lives would look completely different if the holy temple would be standing. Every aspect of our life, not just our spiritual life. This Sunday we commemorate the 9th of Av and we fast. (click here for more info) May it be G-d's will that the Temple should be rebuild and we will finally experience the redemption, with all the eternal good that comes with it! 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

A Legacy of Love!

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, November 11th Light Candles at 16:11

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

Shabbat, November 12th, Shabbat Ends 17:28 Torah Portion: Lech Lecha

A Legacy of Love! What is love? Love is closeness. Even more, it’s whole-hearted, committed closeness. The heart’s warm flutter can be fleeting infatuation, here today and gone tomorrow. Love is different. It’s substantive. Real. Love is a bond that stands strong in the face of day-to-day volatility, an emotional anchor that’s unshaken by life’s waves. Love is other-centered devotion. There’s a Chassidic story about a child who watches an adult catch and prepare a fish. Before his first bite, the adult exclaims “I love fish.” The child responds: “Sir, you apparently don’t love fish; if you did, you would have let this one stay in the water. You actually love yourself, and this fish is just another avenue for feeding your self-love!” Genuine love isn’t about us gratifying ourselves (although that may be a nice by-product). Love is about making space for the other’s needs. Love is when the other’s sensitivities become our personal concern. Sometimes, looking after our personal needs is a part of other-centeredness. If I take a day to care for myself, so that I am better fit to discharge my responsibilities to G-d, to life and the world, I’m still living a day of other-consciousness. Meeting my own needs can be a necessary preparation for fulfilling my responsibility to others. In Torah language, this deeply committed, loving relationship is called a Covenant (Bris in Hebrew); it’s when two parties reach a profound, integral Oneness. That’s what Abraham had going with G-d. Abraham made genuine space in his life for G-d. Abraham’s definition of a ‘meaningful life’ was to be the person who G-d had created him to be. So his material endeavors, including his ‘self-gratifying pursuits,’ were all opportunities for deepening – and expressing - his devotion to living a meaningful life. That’s why G-d commanded him to express their Covenant by marking an area of the physical body which symbolizes the pursuit of pleasurable physical engagement. To Abraham, all of life – even the pleasurable part - was all about reaching his/our Divinely-granted goal of finding deep connectedness with others and making this a better world. Life was all about the Covenant, all about mindfulness of higher Purpose. Abraham showed us how to live life as it’s meant to be lived. 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

The Journey

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, August 5th Light Candles at 20:09 Shabbat, July 30th, Shabbat Ends 21:36 Torah Portion: Matot-Massei

The Journey They say life is a journey. That feels like a true statement, but it leaves me with a bunch of questions: A journey to which destination? What if I don't end up anywhere worthwhile? What if I mess up and take a wrong turn? And how do we know life is actually a deliberate journey? It sometimes feels like a runaway train. The Torah is our model for life, so let's look there for direction. When the Jews left Egypt, they headed toward the Promised Land. Leaving slavery behind, they embarked on a forty-year journey to their homeland, encamping at forty-two stops along the way. Our Sages tell us that this famous episode is more than historical; it's actually a template for each of our lives through history. In other words, we’re each headed through our own personal desert to our own Promised Land, with our individual stops and stumbles along the way. You and I don't live in the desert, but there's importance relevance to the imagery. The desert isn’t a pleasant place; it's not somewhere you can expect to find the comforts of civilization. The desert traveler needs to focus on survival, to pay sharp attention to each step. In that sense, even the city can be a desert. At the same time, one can conceivably make even a desert journey into a positive experience. What if we build solid relationships with our co-travelers? What if our desert experience actually becomes a stepping-stone for character growth and development? When all is said and done, even a desert trip – challenges and all - can be a gift. It can be the route to our personal Promised Land. The Jews made some missteps over the forty years in the desert. Some of them were serious mistakes. But they learned and grew from those mistakes. So even if they ‘took a step backward’ in a specific incident, their ultimate growth took them ‘two steps forward.’ They learned from those negative experiences, becoming healthier and stronger human beings for the experience. When the Jews finally approached their destination, they were grateful. Not just for the destination, but for the journey that brought them there. Today will almost certainly have challenges. They may cause you to wonder about the whole journey. Don't sweat it. Put one foot in front of the other and take a step forward. You'll be happy you did. 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

Dancing with the Divine

Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for Moscow, Russia Friday, July 29th Light Candles at 20:23 Shabbat, July 30th, Shabbat Ends 21:55 Torah Portion: Pinchas

Dancing with the Divine Self-sufficient. Dependent. We’ll take the former. Think of your most vulnerable moment. A time when your security nets were insufficient, and it seemed like there was no one to catch you. That pit-in-your- stomach despair is a feeling nobody wants to experience. On the other hand, remember when you were embraced by someone who had the power to handle your problems; someone who loved you and was wholly concerned with your welfare. Like a parent caring for a baby. Safety at its best. We all want to feel secure. But that feeling brings its own challenge: We usually take it for granted. When a protective power is warding off problems in your life, then - unless it’s before your eyes - you tend to take it in stride. How can you feel saved if you haven’t had an opportunity to internalize the threat? Aside from the lack of thankfulness, we relax our own efforts while basking in the protective shade. Watch small children. They usually have no idea what we’re doing to protect them, and they take their security for granted. And the more we coddle them, the more we potentially disempower their own efforts at achieving genuine security. Think of American society pre 9/11. Most of us took our safety from terrorism for granted, and there seemed little need for personal efforts at self-protection. Then we woke up to the truth of our vulnerability. Safety vs. Vulnerability. Two poles in our delicate dance with G-d. G-d is our Rock, our ultimate security. When you genuinely trust G-d, you sleep easier. Yet we can’t take G-d’s protection for granted. We need to recognize humanity’s intrinsic frailty, thank G-d for His protection, do what we can to help ourselves, and trust the Divine for the future. Think of the Jews in the desert. They went to bed without any food for the next day (vulnerable). Yet they firmly trusted that the manna would fall the next morning and satisfy their needs. It’s an important model. The spiritually-connected person doesn’t get up in the morning feeling invincible because G-d will protect him/her. We take pause to recognize every human’s intrinsic vulnerability. Then we thank G-d for our blessings, and find trust for the future in a loving, protective G-d. It’s confidence with gratitude and humility. A great way to live your day. 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