Responsa in our Lives
Now that the summer is over and the new year has arrived, the Rabbi's Wednesday night class is shifting gears.
Each week at 7:30 pm, Rabbi Weinberg will discuss a halachic question, rabbinic answers, and their meaning for us.
There are no prerequisites and the class is open to all. It is taught by Rabbi Weinberg in his home, at 130 Crafts Street, Newton MA 02458.
Come enjoy an hour of learning. See you there!
Rewatching the inspiring videos from Tisha Bav can help us stick to our resolutions regarding our speech.
Here are two of the ten short movies we watched. More are expected to be added here, as additional permissions are received.
...and this time, you can have popcorn.Read more...
Rabbi Zev Leff
So when he was ten years old he entered the Hebrew Academy of Greater Miami. While he should have been placed in the fifth grade, he was placed in a third grade class in order to help him catch up. Two years later, Rabbi Leff had not only caught up but was rapidly developing into one of the school’s best talmidim (scholars). During this time, Rabbi Leff also made the decision to become shomer Shabbat.
Rabbi Leff then went on to the Mesivta of Greater Miami where he was regularly assigned to the most advanced shiurim (classes) in the yeshivah. He was an enthusiastic student and reveled in the give and take of Talmudic discussions. It was not uncommon for him to come up with she’eilot (questions) that his rebbeim couldn’t answer, as well as teshuvot (answers) to questions they had never even thought of.
Rabbi Leff left to study at the Telshe Yeshivah in Cleveland, Ohio, where he became a close talmid of Rav Mordechai Gifter, zt"l.
In the fall of 1968, he was introduced to Rivkah Minkoff, from Ellenville, New York. Before the end of that year they were engaged, and married soon after. The Leffs settled in Cleveland, where Rabbi Leff learned in kollel and supervised the Telshe dormitory.
During a Pesach visit to Miami in 1974, Rabbi Leff stepped in to help the Young Israel of Greater Miami in North Miami Beach with the Holiday sermons. His sermons were received so well that after Yom Tov, he was invited to apply for the position of rabbi.
After returning to Cleveland, he mentioned the experience, in passing, to Rav Gifter. To Rabbi Leff's surprise, Rav Gifter told him to apply, adding that twenty years earlier the roshei yeshivah in the United States had made a major mistake by failing to encourage their best talmidim (scholars) to enter the rabbanut. Were more capable talmidim leading American synagogues, Rav Gifter said, America would look much different. He also reminded Rabbi Leff that he had a personal responsibility to serve the community that had helped him develop into a ben Torah.
Rabbi Leff returned to Miami for an interview. The board offered him a one-year contract. He took it, but asked Rav Gifter to hold his old job open in case things didn’t work out.
Rabbi Leff served as the rav of the Young Israel of Greater Miami for nine years. The transition from dormitory counselor at Telshe to rav of an out-of-town community was not terribly difficult for the young rabbi. He had been moving in two worlds his entire life. He had gone from growing up in a non-observant home to becoming the best talmid at the Mesivta. While he never compromised his religious principles, he always maintained ties with his former world. Indeed, his ability to incorporate all of his experiences enables him to relate to a broad spectrum of Jews. It is what gives him a perspective and a depth of experience that few other leaders in the Torah world have.
While Rabbi Leff served as a rabbi in Miami, he invested much time and effort working with the NCSY chapter based in his shul, and even returned to teach at the Mesivta where he had been a talmid more than a decade earlier.
By 1983, the Leffs decided to make aliyah. Upon moving to Israel, Rabbi Leff became the rav and morah d’asra (leader of the community) of Moshav Matityahu, a community located in central Israel adjacent to Kiryat Sefer, and just outside Modiin.
Today, in addition to his communal duties, Rabbi Leff is also rosh yeshivah of Yeshiva Gedolah Matityahu, and oversees the 20-member kollel on the Moshav. Additionally, he teaches a group of unaffiliated Israelis who live near Moshav Matityahu and lectures at several leading Israeli yeshivot, seminaries and institutions, including the Orthodox Union’s Israel Center. He is a featured speaker at the conventions of the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel, and Torah Umesorah.
"The lesson I learned more than thirty years ago at NCSY conventions is that Judaism is not monolithic and that there are many legitimate approaches to Yiddishkeit," says Rabbi Leff. "This has been the guiding philosophy of my life."
Rabbi Leff's shiurim can be heard in streaming audio format on his website: http://www.rabbileff.net
At the site, you may also submit questions to the Rabbi, which he will answer, B"H, in audio format.
Brandeis at Adams Street
On September 12th and 13th we will enjoy a Shabbaton with students from Brandeis University. This is about two weeks after school resumes, and two weeks before the High Holidays.
The Shabbaton is a joint project of The Adams Street Shul and the Brandeis Orthodox Organization. All of the events are for Brandeis students and Shul families combined.
On Friday night, there will be a congregational Shabbos dinner at the shul, followed by a shiur by a guest "Scholar-in-Residence", still to be determined.
Brandeis students will do the Shacharit and Mincha laynings for the shul that Shabbos. (The Torah portion is Ki Tavo.)
On Saturday, after a special kiddush, the students will be guests for lunches in congregants' homes. Some of the students will prepare drashes to deliver at the tables of their lunch hosts.
If you would like to have a group of students join you at your home for lunch on that Shabbat, please contact Jordan Lee Wagner. Some of the students may be vegetarians or have food sensitivities, so if your meals are gluten-free or otherwise special, please volunteer to be a lunch host.
On Saturday afternoon, we all regroup at the shul for special social and educational events, open to all. Please plan to be with us throughout this special Shabbat.Read more...
Our Newest Video: Jewish Music From Three Continents
Did you miss the wonderful concert, Jewish Music From Three Continents that we presented last month?
Well not anymore! We recorded it.
We hope you enjoy our newest video. It's a video of that evening's exciting performance of Ernst Bloch's Baal Shem: Three Pictures of Hassidic Life.
Jewish Music from Three Continents is also the title of the beautiful studio recording Sergey Khanukaev and Daniel Broniatowski completed and released just days before the concert. Here is a link to purchase the CD.
Tu b'Shvat The Movie!
Did you miss our Tu B'Shevat seder last Wednesday? Well not anymore! We have produced a video of the event, which you can watch online.
We also provide the hagaddah that was used. You can print and have it handy while watching the seder. (You can also use the haggadah as the basis for your own future seders.)
Now here's the video:Read more...
Donate to the Shul Without it Costing You a Cent
Donate to the shul without it costing you a cent. When you shop at The Butcherie in Brookline, remember to ask for your receipt to be stamped. When you bring your stamped receipts to the shul, we turn them in, and The Butcherie donates to the Shul. What an easy way to support a great cause!
Bring your Butcherie receipts to the Shul and drop them in the pouch on the office door. The Butcherie will donate 3% of your credit card purchases, and 5% of your cash or check purchases, to the Shul. It adds up!Read more...