Flatbush Park Jewish Center
Flatbush Park Jewish Center is a modern Orthodox synagogue in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, New York, founded in 1952.
We are a modern Orthodox congregation committed to Torah study and its observance; daily prayer, morning and evening; strong support for the State of Israel; charitable support of worthy institutions and individuals. Our membership is a mix of young and old; of American, European and Israeli birth, all sharing a deep commitment to Jewish life and community. We strive to build and maintain a vibrant, dynamic and cohesive Jewish community in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.
Our mission is to foster among our membership and the surrounding community an abiding commitment to halacha, kashrut and mitzvot, and bring them into a personal relationship with Hashem, which represents the essential foundation of any Orthodox institution.
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Message from the Rabbi
Make certain to start any project with derech eretz.
"AND ALL OF YOU APPROACHED ME, AND YOU SAID, LET US SEND PEOPLE BEFORE US TO EXPLORE THE LAND FOR US." (Dvorim 1:22)
Rashi states that they came to Moshe in a disorderly manner. Children were pushing the elders and the elders were pushing the leaders.
At first glance this lack of orderliness seems to be just a small lack of derech eretz(proper manners,) why was it mentioned together with the severe offense of the acceptance of the slander of the spies and the refusal to listen to the Almighty's will to enter the land? Rabbi Naftoli Tzvi Berlin cited the reply of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yitchok of Volozhin. This lack of derech eretz of the people is attached to the transgression of the spies to increase the severity of their offense. The people might have tried to lessen the offense by saying that their original plan to send the spies was correct, but that later on they were negatively influenced by the evil report of spies. Therefore, Moshe showed them that right from the start something was seriously wrong. When people are involved in a project that is really proper, they will have appropriate derech eretz at the very beginning of the venture. Since in the matter of sending the spies they acted rudely and unruly they shoul have realized that they were doing something wrong. (Haamek Dovor)
Derech eretz is so important that if one lacks it, it shows that all that follows is not proper. If you want your teachers, parents or friends to agree with a project you wish to engage in, make certain to speak to them with proper honor and respect. Failure to do so is not merely a minor character flaw, but a manifestation that your entire motivation is not on the right place. Getting off to a good start is crucial in spiritual matters for it is a strong sign of your true inner attitudes towards what you are planning to do.
Tisha B'Av is Monday evening, we cry for what the Meraglim said when they returned from scouting the land. The Meraglim maligned the land and as a result HaShem said today Tisha B'Av will forever be earmarked as a sad day in the Jewish calendar.
Later in history we lost the first Bet Hamikdash on Tisha B'Av and then the second Bet Hamikdash on Tisha B'Av. Everyone speaks about the fact that Ahavat Chinam is so necessary. One of the ways to reach that goal of Ahavat Chinam is to have derech eretz. Derech eretz is also a way to create Shalom peace and Ahavat Chinam. We must imbue in our children the sense of derech eretz for a shul for adults and for everyone around them.
May this be another way to hasten the rebuilding of the third Bet Hamikdash and may the merit of derech eretz help our soldiers complete their and return mission home safely. Amen
Rabbi Yisroel Perelson
Email - RabbiYPerelson@optonline.net