Shabbat Times

Friday, February 18, 2021
Light Shabbat Candles at 5:17 PM 

Saturday, February 19, 2021
Shabbat ends at 6:19 PM
Torah Reading
Parshat Ki Tisa
Kiddush sponsored by Rabbi Levi & Shternie block in honor of their son & daughter-in-law, Moshe & Chany
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Friday Evening Shabbat Services
6:00 PM | February 18

Morning Services
10:00 AM | Saturday, February 19
8:30 AM | Sunday, February 20

Coffee & Kabbalah
8:00 PM | Sunday, January 20 | Zoom

30 Minute Parsha Class
8:00 PM | Wednesday, February 23 | Zoom

77 Years After the Holocaust, A Family Reunion
Suzanne Hecker spent 25 years searching for her grandfather’s family.

True Mercy
Parshat Ki Tisa

After the Golden Calf debacle, Moses sought to open a path for the Jewish people to attain G‑d’s forgiveness. To this end, G‑d revealed to Moses the Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy, opening a pathway for all future generations to achieve atonement and healing:

And the L‑rd passed before him and proclaimed: “L‑rd, L‑rd, benevolent G‑d, Who is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth, preserving lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity, rebellion and sin, and He cleanses . . .” (Exodus 34:6–7)

This raises an interesting question: why is “an abundance of truth” considered one of the attributes of mercy? Compassion, graciousness and kindness seem par for the course; but truth? Truth is a severe and honest judge, unwilling to overlook misdeeds and transgressions.

The reality, however, is that our shortcomings and failures are true only superficially—for a moment in time, and only affecting an outer layer of self. The Hebrew word for sin, chet, actually means “to miss the mark, to be deficient.” Essentially we are not wrongdoers; we are simply falling short of our potential. The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy and the intertwined concept of teshuvah, properly translated as a “return” to one’s real self, are the road that reconnect us to our potential, our truest self. This potential remains whole and unaffected by whatever temporary detour we have taken.

Our shortcomings and failures are true only superficially

When we invoke these attributes, we connect to our relationship to the Source of all being, a relationship that is rooted deeper within us than any failure can reach. The greatest typhoon only roils the waters of the sea close to the surface, but the oceanic depths remain calm and untroubled. We have a place within our soul that is deeply connected to the Infinite, a place that the effects of our negative choices cannot reach. When we awaken this level of being, we find new reservoirs of strength to transform our lives.

We are fundamentally, essentially and truly G‑dly and positive. We can access that reality at any time we choose. And G‑d’s attribute of truth cuts away all the external layers and sees us for whom we truly are.

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe is a frequent contributor of articles and media to, is Dean of the Institute of American and Talmudic Law in New York, N.Y., and Rabbi of Congregation B'nai Torah in Springfield. Mass. Rabbi Yaffe has lectured and led seminars throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.