Rabbi's Letter October 2016

October 2016

Dear Friends

   Ein Gedi is an amazing and magnificent desert oasis in Israel.  Located by the Dead Sea on the way to Masada one could easily pass by and not notice this wadi (jagged valley ).   Our fabulous DHJC Israel adventure this summer spent a day at Masada exploring the powerful history of this mountaintop and then floated in the Dead Sea.  Our late afternoon was spent at Ein Gedi enjoying the natural beauty of this oasis and reveling in the refreshing waterfalls located here fed by the underground spring from the cliffs above .

  Next to Ein Gedi is an ancient synagogue that archeologists excavated more than a half century ago.  They discovered a majestic mosaic floor with an inscription that speaks of the secrets of Ein Gedi.  Two thousand years ago, the residents of Ein Gedi had a flourishing spice trade including the resin from the balsam tree that was used in the fragrant spices on the altar of the Second Temple.  According to historians the closely guarded recipe of the balsam and incense was to be treated as a proprietary trademark of the community and was not to be shared with others.  The second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 and the ancient community of Ein Gedi and the reminder of the balsam resin recipe secret remains as a postscript on the mosaic floor inscription .

  Yet this past week Ein Gedi revealed another secret !  When the synagogue was discovered by the archeologists they also found a charred ancient scroll.  The lump of carbonized parchment was found to be impossible to open or read so archeologists preserved it hoping for the day when technology would enable us to read the secrets soft this scroll.  Over this summer computer scientists at the university of Kentucky perfected a method of digitally reading a text that can be unfurled by a micro CT scan .  Remarkably, this method worked perfectly for this scroll, dated to the first century CE prior to the destruction of the Second Temple.  The computer was able to digitally read the text found with this clump of carbonized parchment and the words and the letters were clearly legible.

  What the scientists discovered is the secret of the scroll.   They found the first two chapters of the book of Leviticus , the third book of the Torah.    They discovered that this two thousand year old text  matches perfectly letter for letter and word for word the texts found in our sacred Torah scrolls today .  This then becomes the largest section of Torah ever discovered that matches identically to our scrolls today .  This find validates what our people has known for eternity - that we faithfully adhere to ancient traditions that our with fidelity transmitted l'dor va-dor, from one generation to the next and infused with vibrancy and everlasting relevancy in each successive generation.

  The secrets revealed in the scroll of Ein Gedi are a timeless message at the dawning of this new year of 5777.  As we usher in the fall holidays, it is the recognition that our traditions and customs are seasoned with age and invigorated by each generation.  When we sound the shofar and listen to the clarion call of this ancient instrument we literally become part of the timeless joy of Judaism.  Our prayers , both new and old , are linked to the inspired wisdom our our sages from the ages gone by and transformed by the beauty of our high holy day prayer book/mahzor that incorporates so many new, poetic and illuminating prayers that touch our souls.

  Our fasting on Yom Kippur provides us, as it did our ancestor two and three millennia ago, the recognition that we have a spiritual strength.   We can forgo eating and drinking for 25 hours and remind ourselves that we can master the material world.   We are not enslaved to technology as on each holy day we unplug from technology ( yes, NO cell phones, NO  texting and NO FaceTime ) and instead are plugged INTO our venerated and dynamic traditions and we are in the presence of the Divine, of family , friends and community without being interrupted by our technologies .  If we can fast for 25 hours ( with the notable exception of those pregnant, ill or those taking medications when you are obligated to eat - but you can skip the chocolate cake!) then we can resolve to be drawn closer to the so many other brilliant aspects of Judaism .

  Yom Kippur concludes and we swiftly go into the divine sanctuary of the joy of sukkot.  Build a sukkah for yourself or with your neighbors.  Then enter  this outdoor Harvest hut all thoughout sukkot to enjoy fine wines, great meals and fabulous camaraderie in this autumnal season.
Sukkot continues the joyous celebration of being together and created joyous moments in Shul and in your sukkah to marvel at the world that we inhabit and to share sweet moments with family and friends - a club med vacation with your backyard sukkah becoming the oasis of food, friends and fun .

  The gift of the high holy days comes to a grand finale with Shemini Atzeret and Simhat Torah as we dance with the scrolls of Torah in our community.  Unlike the scroll of Torah found at Ein Gedi which was a carbonized clump, our Torah scrolls are the living legacy that we celebrate.  The words of Torah are  the foundation of our ethics, the essence of our names and traditions and the genesis Our our life cycle events and holidays.  The Ein Gedi scroll could be read but not unfurled.   We will unfurl a Torah scroll from the ark and as the scroll is held aloft it will extend to the farthest end of our ballroom and we see that the words of Torah are alive, dynamic and uplifting .  We connect to the Torah as we hold it aloft with our hands and our deeds, with our hearts and our values .

  There is so much disconnect and divisiveness in our world today.  The corruptions that we see and the toxic words that are uttered along with the loss of civility and decency is frightening .  The inhumanity on a global scale - with the carnage in Syria as but one example - is a brutality that is searing the 21st century.   The world stands idly by and argues about what to do - while israel opens her borders to those wounded in the syrian conflict and gives refuge to those in need.

   Our high holy days draw us closer to the values sorely lacking in the world around us.  We are brought closer to ethical and moral living , we are given the embrace of a caring community and our traditions to be lived not only at dhjc , but in our homes.  The songs of Torah and the melodies of Shabbat and holy days bring joy not oy into our homes and community.  This is the essence of our faith , of Judaism.

   I hope and pray that our community will touch and inspire you ever the more deeply this year and that you will resolve to be open to our mission and message as a dynamic , caring , striving , learning and joyous community .  Unlike the and ancient scroll of Ein Gedi which could not be unfurled and needed a micro-CT scan to be read, may we be open in this new year to the joy of Judaism and the blessings of our dhjc community.   Be here , be involved , be read into the life of our community and be transformed day by day , mitzvah by mitzvah.

  May we share in the rich and sweet blessings of a shanah tovah.  Laura , along with Yael, Yair & Lev, Aviva and Matt, Hillel and Jaclyn, Elie and Tamar and Noam join me in wishing you and your loved ones a year of new beginnings and soulful joy!  Shanah tovah, Rabbi Howard Buechler

What's Happening at DHJC





Service Times

Normal Service Times - (Except Holidays & Shivas)

Daily Morning Minyan
Monday and Thursday, 6:45am
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 7am
Sunday, 9am

Daily Evening Minyan
Sunday to Thursday, 8pm

Shabbat Services
Friday, 7pm
Saturday, 9:15am

Mincha, Maariv and Havdalah 
Weekly at Sundown
(weekly calendar for exact times)

Save the Date!!

Calendar Updated

Please check our calendar for all our events. 
Early Childhood Center, Religious School & Youth Group & J-Team dates have been posted.

DHJC Collegiate Outreach

DHJC would love to keep in touch with your college student while they are away at school. Sisterhood would like to include your college student in our Collegiate Outreach Program. As a member of DHJC, your undergraduate college student(s) are entitled to receive various mailings and good wishes, all geared to the Jewish lifestyle and calendar.

Please fill out the form and email to Sheryl Gerber or bring to Ellen in the office.

Check out Back to School Deals



Don't Forget To Visit Our Photo Page!


Partners in Caring

The PIC Program provides Counseling, Education, Case Management and Volunteer Coordination through the gateways of our synagogue partners

Dix Hills Jewish Center

Huntington Jewish Center

North Shore Jewish Center

Temple Isaiah

PIC Coordinator 631-462-9800x239

Suffolk County Community-Wide Solidarity Rally

A time to mourn, A time to grieve, A time to remember, A time to Act! 

Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center

Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center, a Conservative Congregation, celebrating 50 years as a beacon of dynamic Judaism in Dix Hills. We are a traditional egalitarian synagogue committed to the reality that all Jews are full partners in the beauty of Jewish life and that all Jews are given an equal role in all rituals. The Dix Hills Jewish Center is an engaging, vibrant congregation. We are excited about the growth in our synagogue, and the wonderful growth of the Jewish community of Dix Hills, Commack and the neighboring communities. We are a community committed to learning, to supporting each other, and to being a warm and welcoming place for all who participate. Welcome to the Dix Hills Jewish Center.

Service & Minyan times located at the bottom of the page.

If you are interested in attending any of our programs please check the Calendar in Upcoming Events. Children's programming is also available.

In Case Of........


For joyous occassions in your life, please share your naches with the Rabbi. Inform the Rabbi about births, engagements, weddings and other noteworthy moments in the life of your family. The Rabbi will arrange for baby namings, provide information regarding a mohel ( for infant boys), coordinate a pidyon ha-ben (the redemption ceremony for firstborn males), schedule an aufruf (to celebrate a forthcoming marriage), weddings and bring the richness of Jewish traditions and mitzvoth into your simcha(email rabbi or call 631-499-6644).


In case of illness and/or hospitalization, please notify the Rabbi at 631-499-6644 (24/6 - on Shabbat, see below for further emergency instructions)


Even before making funeral arrangements notify Rabbi Buechler at the synagogue office at 631-499-6644 (after office hours press #3 for the emergency numbers). Rabbi Buechler will assist and guide you in making the appropriate arrangements for the funeral. In the event that you cannot reach the Rabbi, contact the Jewish funeral home and begin to make your arrangements. PLEASE, if Rabbi Buechler is going to officiate at the funeral, do not finalize the funeral time until the Rabbi has contacted you. At most this will be a few hours. In the event that Rabbi Buechler is on vacation, Cantor Hevenstone is available and other local Conservative Rabbis are on call. Their names can be obtained by calling the synagogue office, an officer of the synagogue or the Ritual Chairman. It is also appropriate to contact Rabbi Buechler whenever tragedy or trauma occurs. On Shabbat and Yomtov the Rabbi does not use the telephone. Therefore, you can convey information to him on these days at the synagogue during scheduled service times, by calling him immediately after Shabbat or Yomtov or by going to his residence.

Social Action Committee

Bikur Cholim & Home Visits

Do you have a relative or friend in our congregation who would benefit from a personal home visit? We are here for you! Members of our DHJC Social Action Committee - Tender Loving Congregants -- will happily come to visit and chat. BIKUR CHOLIM -- we visit our friends and relatives in Gurwin. Become a volunteer. Learn how.

High School students -- learn how to be a volunteer at Gurwin! There are many ways to volunteer.

Please contact us [email protected]

An Aliyah for YOU

Whether you are 20 or 120, or anything in between, we would like to honor you on the anniversary of your bar or bat mitzvah. Please send the date of your bar/bat mitzvah or the name of your parsha to Lee Grebstein [email protected]

New Newsletter is here!!

Latest Edition!!

July - August Edition so large it is in 2 parts!!

Part 1

Part 2