FROM THE DESK OF RABBI BENNY BERLIN
The BACH Jewish Center, located in Long Beach, New York, will soon celebrate its 74th anniversary. We are proud of our three daily minyanim during the weekday, and every Shabbat. Yet, as the variety of minyanim cater to different needs and personalities, we retain the small shul feel of closeness and camaraderie.
It has always been my dream to be at the forefront of a unique and welcoming Shul. The BACH is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can feel comfortable.
According to the Talmud (Taanit 9a), Rabbi Yosei son of Rabbi Yehuda taught that the water was given to the Jewish people in the merit of Miriam, the pillar of cloud was in the merit of Aaron, and the manna in the merit of Moshe.
However, this raises the following perplexing question. Rabbi Yochanan said that the blessing of sustenance comes only for the sake of many, not an individual person. Apparently, we find that sustenance can come for the sake of an individual, as the baraita states that sustenance in the form of manna came for the sake of Moshe. How can we reconcile this? The Gemara answers something profound: Moshe was different, since he requested the manna for many, he therefore was considered like many and not as an individual.
Although he was an individual, Moshe was considered “like the community” because of his involvement with the community. He constantly prayed for the Jewish people and was always concerned with their needs.
In Judaism, the community is essential to the spiritual life. Our holiest prayers require a minyan. When we celebrate or mourn, we do so as a community. Even when we confess, we do so together. We develop virtue, the strength of character, and a commitment to the common good in the community.
At the BACH, we believe that every single person is precious and that no one should fall through the cracks. We pray for each other, and we are one cohesive unit. By caring about every person in this community, like the Gemara in Taanit , we are considered like many, not just individuals.
By being part of the BACH, we discover the joy of becoming part of something greater than we could ever achieve alone.
We look forward to greeting you.
RABBI BENNY BERLIN