D’var Torah (A bit of Torah study from Rabbi Feingold) VA’EIRA
At the beginning of this week’s parasha (Torah portion), Moses reports back to God about his effort to convince the Israelites that God would free them from slavery. The text tells us that the people were unable to hear Moses’ hopeful message because their spirits were “crushed by cruel bondage.” (Ex. 6: 9) How do we respond when local, national or world events crush our spirits? Do we begin to tune out anything that provides sparks of hope in the darkness? Recent events have brought a sense of despair to many in the U.S. In truth, this happens almost any time that there is a significant shift in the political landscape. In response to America’s recent transition of power, a nonpartisan group of 100 religious scholars have chosen to speak their minds, to America’s new leaders, but also to each of us, during the first 100 days of the new Administration. To subscribe to these daily, inspirational letters, go to http://www.valuesandvoices.com
SHABBAT SHALOM AND CHAG SAMEI’ACH!
D’var Torah (A bit of Torah study from Rabbi Feingold) Simchat Torah We will celebrate this Sunday night and Monday morning the holiday of Simchat Torah. A memorable observance because of the 7 hakafot (circuits) with the Torah and reading from the very end of the Torah and then the beginning, this is a holiday enjoyed by young and old. Reading the very first verses of Genesis upon finishing the last words of Deuteronomy and then reading the first chapter of Joshua after completing the story of the wilderness wanderings and Moses’s death is a very tangible way of demonstrating the continuity of Jewish tradition. The study of Torah never ends; it is renewed continuously. And the continuity of Jewish life is revived in each generation with new leadership and new adventures. Simchat Torah is a holiday that provides hope and expectation about great things in store in Jewish study and the ongoing Jewish narrative. Chag Samei’ach!