Shabbat Shuvah On the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we read from three prophetic books as the Haftarah (the additional or concluding) reading after the Torah is read. The three selections from Hosea, Micah and Joel all have thematic material related to the season. The very first words of the Haftarah are from Hosea 14:2: “Shuvah Yisrael,” from which the Shabbat receives its name. The Hosea reading focuses in on turning away from sin. The Micah passage, from chapter 7, speaks of God’s forgiveness. Joel chapter 2 speaks of sounding the shofar and declaring a fast day. We will be examining these texts at our Parashat Hashavuah (weekly portion) study this Shabbat at 9:30am, prior to the 10:30am Shabbat Shuvah Learner’s Minyan. Join us!
(A bit of Torah study from Rabbi Feingold) Nitzavim Each week on Shabbat in the synagogue, the weekly Torah portion (parasha) is paired with a reading from the Prophets (Nevi’im) section of the Bible. During the 7 weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah, we read from the unnamed prophet who lived during the Babylonian Exile and who provided words of comfort to the exiled Jews that they would return to Israel. This prophet’s words are included in the Book of Isaiah. This week we read the last of these 7 messages of hope and consolation, from Chapter 61 of Isaiah. The message is fitting as we approach the New Year: “They shall be called The Holy People, The Redeemed of God.”(Isaiah 61: 12) In our coming together as a Jewish community on Rosh Hashanah 5777, may we help to bring God’s holiness and redemption to the world. L’shanah Tovah Tikateyvu.
Ki Tavo - In this week’s parasha, speaking and listening take center stage in what is expected of the People of Israel once they enter the Land of Israel. Moses tells them that when they harvest the first fruits of their planting: “Va’anita, v’amarta lifnai Adonai Eloheicha,” “You will answer and speak out before God.” (Deut 26:5) Later, Moses adds: “Haskeit u’shma Yisrael,” "Pay attention and hearken Israel, on this day you have become a people to the Eternal, your God. Follow all of God’s commandments. (26:17) Speak out and hearken: It was good advice at the return to settlement in the Land of Israel in our epic Torah story. It is good advice for us now in this time of political turmoil in America. And its advice that reaches beyond the campaign to our own lives and relationships as well. I will elaborate on this message in my sermon at Shabbat services at 7:30pm tomorrow night.