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Astoria Borealis

Friday, 4 January, 2019 - 10:34 pm


Dear Friend,


Did you witness the ConEd explosion aka The Astoria Borealis?

You may have seen it on the news or from your windows— an epic electrical event just across the East River. From my vantage point, the entire night sky was lit with an awesome kaleidoscope of psychedelic colors (admittedly, I wondered if perhaps someone had messed with my Kiddush Wine). This incredible display went on for some time (miraculously no one was hurt) and was so dramatic and unusual, it appeared almost biblical. Speaking of which, in this week's Torah portion there are seven awesome plagues, with their own lights and special effects, as we once again revisit the central story of the Jewish faith, the exodus.


Chassidic thought teaches that in addition to the literal interpretation of the biblical narrative, there is a moral/religious lesson to be gleaned here. Pharaoh is best described as 'the king of status quo', barely motivated even by clear and present danger. The founder of Chabad in the book of Tanya encourages us to reenact an exodus daily, to bust out of the dusty shackles of sameness and turn the page of our personal history book. 

With that said, might I suggest a first Shabbos of 2019 resolution. Nothing dramatic, important nonetheless, attend synagogue services this #Shabbat. If not for every Shabbat, just this week (and there’s a fabulous Kiddush this week sponsored by the Langers). Hope to see you there. Good Shabbos/Shabbat Shalom.


Rabbi Shmuel A. Metzger


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