Candle Lighting Light Candles
7:30 PM this Friday, 17 August 2018
Shabbat Ends 8:32 PM
  Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 3 Elul 5778

Questions and Answers  
Do you have a question? Whether you're curious about Jewish holidays, or want to address personal issues, use the forum below to get quick answers.
Hello I'm writing to find out if you accept people to temple with very little experience. I have Jewish family but my education was cut short . I have a wish to further my study. Can I come to temple Friday for service?
Thank you
Posted by: Harriss weiss, Norwalk, Ct, Us
Dear Harris:

Beth Israel Synagogue is  open to all especially those who are of Jewish heritage and are seeking to broaden their knowledge and experience of Judaism. Beth Israel is a "learning" Synagogue. Everyone feels welcome and those attending  always know what is "going-on" during the prayer services as there are explanations and English /Hebrew prayer books. Friday Eve Services are a great introduction to experience the joy and serenity of Shabbos. Please feel welcome to attend at any time.

Good luck on your journey to grow in your spiritual heritage!

Shalom, Yehoshua
To Rabbi Hecht from Dr. Elliot Udell

Dear Rabbi, you gave an amazing drush about Rabbi Baras this evening. It was also nice that you included in your talk the terrible things that happened in Japan.

I would like to recommend you as a speaker for the Institute for Adult Jewish Studies. This would be a single talk on a single Monday night in the Fall after the Yom Tovim. Please send me a list of possible topics. The audience is not necessarily frum. Many of the people come from no synagogues and some are Reform and conservative. I represent orthodoxy on the board. The crowd would be very mixed.

Thanks in advance

Elliot Udell
Posted by: Dr Elliot Udell, Plainview , NY

"Dear Elliot - Thank you for your kind words. Rabbi Baras was an exceptional spiritual leader and a very holy man.  He personified Torah and Derech Eretz and I know he is greatly missed by his students and congregants.

It would be a great pleasure to speak at your institute and here are some topics.

1)The future of Hassidism in America -are they monolithic?

2)What exactly ails American Jewry and some corrective steps to take today

3)Is being spiritual in Judaism the goal of a Jewish life

4)What is Judaism? Is it Ethics, Humanism, Spirituality, Mysticism or is it something else 

5)Why is support of Israel waning amongst our Jewish youth

Elliot if there is something that interests your group why not suggest it.

Generally speaking Sunday or Monday or Thursday Nights are fine for me in October & November.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Shalom, Rabbi Yehoshua  Hecht

My Contact Information:

Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht

Study 203 866-0534

Cell 203 247-6289


Synagogue Website:



is it permissable to remove the Torah from the ARk to practice for bar mitzvah lessons?
Posted by: Brian Marcus, Bklyn, ny, USA

Dear Brian - I came across your question while checking my website and although its been quite some time since your query was posed I will attempt to answer:

Generally speaking the sanctity of a Torah scroll is the ultimate holy ritual object we Jews possess.

Before the advent of printing it was not uncommon to study from a Torah scroll itself. Of course grreat care was utilized when doing so.

So in answer to your question. Is one allowed to read from the Totah scroll to practise reading their Bar Mitzvah portion?  The answer is yes. Provided that the ultimate respect is utilized when doing so. e.g. not touching the parchment scroll with ones bare hand etc.

If the question is may one remove a Torah scroll from the Ark to practice the event e.g. doing a dry run before the Bar Mitzvah ? The asnswer is yes provided once again that proper decorum is utilized.

It pains me to have seen a photograph of a Torah scroll totally unrolled in order to show young children the length of the scroll. This is something that should never be done.

Thanks for sending your question and keep studying Torah.

 Its one of our greatest Mitzvoth!


Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht




Daily Life


I am not affiliated with your congregation, and I am sure you are most likely getting a lot of these. Please extend my deepest heartfelt condolences and sorrow to the Posner family for their loss. I have lost a little one under less nefarious circumstances, but none the less, still feel the pain to this day after 20 years. I am making Aliyah this month Be'ezrat Hashem and want to extend my home to the Posner's if they ever feel a desire to go to Eretz Israel, I will be in Ra'anna, my home is open. My heart is broken.

My non Jewish friend texted me on the day of the levaya, saying how she felt the words the rabbi spoke were truly powerful and wanted me to explain to her what he said. Kiddush Hashem! :)

Ha-Makom yenachem etchem betoch sh’ar aveilei Tziyon V’Yerushalayim.

Chava Kinniburgh
Toras Hashem (Young Israel) of Valley Village

Posted by: Chava Kinniburgh, Valley Village, Ca, USA
Dear Chava:

Your heartfelt words are very much appreciated. The tragedy at the Newtown School is a great loss to all of humanity and will leave a lasting impact upon the entire community of Newtown and the State of Connecticut and indeed the entire USA.

There are no words for such a colossal loss of innocent young lives. How we respond to this tragedy is really important.

So we need to increasee in acts of loving kindness and educate our society that G-D exists and He is is "an eye that sees and an ear that hears" to quote psalms.

That life is sacred and always has meaning is something that all people need to hear and know about.

I do not know if the killer was educated about the CREATOR but I do believe all of society would be a lot better off knowing that G-d cares and gives us free choice.

May there never ever be such a heinous act again and lets pray that the shattered lives of the survivors will find a measure of comfort and solace knowing that so many are deeply pained by their loss.

B'shalom, Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht
Jewish Identity
I am a 57 yr old single non-observant 'culturally Jewish' woman who would like to explore connecting with my heritage and becoming more connected spiritually. Any suggestions on how to begin?
Posted by: Ilene, Westport, CT, USA

Dear Ilene - sorry for the delay in responding as I have not visited this part of our Synagogue's website  for quite some time!

The first step for connecting to your spiritual roots is already accomplished as you have written this request for assistance and advice.

My spiritual mentor the Lubavitcher  Rebbe encourages all women to light Shabbat candles 18 minutes before sunset every Friday and Jewish holiday eve so that the spiritual light and warmth of these candles illuminate the world with the light of G-ds holiness and goodness.  

The times for candles are on the "masthead"  of our website. So this is a good weekly action to take on your spiritual journey.

May I also suggest that you attend our Friday eve Shabbat service at 7:00 p.m. which is followed by a social "Kiddish" buffet and the short service really helps one feel and experience the beauty and serenity of the Jewish Sabbath.

Ilene, we are here for you and please feel welcome to contact me at the office at 203 866-0534 or my wife Freida at 203 247-3348. She is a very warm and delightful person.

Good luck on your search for your heritage and spiritual connection,

Shalom, Rabbi Yehoshua  S. Hecht




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