Rabbi Feingold's D'var Torah


This week's parasha (Torah portion) contains several stories that give us insight into Moses' character. They are: Moses intervening with God on behalf of the people when they complain; Moses's response to two individuals who "prophesy" without authority; and Moses' reaction when his siblings, Aaron and Miriam, speak out against him for marrying a Cushite woman. In each case, Moses' temperament proves to be a mitigating factor in calming down a potentially explosive situation. What can we learn from Moses' qualities about mitigating crises and complaints in our families, workplaces and communities? We will be taking up this subject at our monthly Beth Hillel Torah study session (Parashat Hashavuah) at 9:30am this Saturday. You need not be staying for the 10:30am services (but we would be happy to have you –and at the Kiddush after as well!)

In Naso, we find the Birkat Kohanim, the Priestly Benediction. (Num 6:24-26) Most of us know this prayer in its use to bless a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or a wedding couple, but the words appear in Shabbat services as well. A few years back, I attended Shabbat morning services in Rome at an Orthodox synagogue. Looking down from the 3rd floor women's section, I noticed that multi-generational groups of men spread out their tallitot (tallises) over each other during this prayer in a moment of family closeness. It was beautiful to watch. Even the women, who did not have tallitot, gathered together in a "group hug" at this point. Some congregations in this country observe the "group hug" custom as well, and individuals include not just family members, but also those who just happen to be sitting nearby, under the tallit in an act of inclusion. As more and more Beth Hillel folks don tallitot at services, I wonder if this might be a tradition we would like to initiate. Let me know what you think!

The holiday of Shavuot is observed this coming Saturday night and Sunday. As we learned at the Family Education Day program of our school this past Sunday, the holiday is also called "Zman Matan Torateinu," "The Time of the Giving of our Torah." But Shavuot is also the time of Am Yisrael (the People of Israel) accepting the Torah. On Sunday, we learned some ancient stories about our ancestors accepting the Torah. But, the truth is that each of us must accept the Torah and choose to receive Jewish heritage for ourselves in our own time. Each year on Shavuot, our Confirmation students lead us in this endeavor. They have the awe-inspiring task of speaking from the bima about what it means to them to be Jewish and have Torah in their lives. Those who come to hear what the Confirmands have to say may be inspired to contemplate and articulate for ourselves what it means to accept the Torah. Mazal Tov to our 5775 Confirmands, Sam Cohen, Camilo Deen, and Skyler Stams. HAPPY SHAVUOT; CHAG SMAEI'ACH.

May FOOD OF THE MONTH: canned or dried beans

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This Week at BHT

26 Jun 2018
04:00PM -
Shalom Center Soup Kitchen
27 Jun 2018
07:00PM -
Food for Thought Class
29 Jun 2018
05:45PM -
Kabbalat Shabbat
01 Jul 2018
MCC Pledges Due New Year
06 Jul 2018
05:45PM -
Family Kabbalat Shabbat | Lay Leader | BD Blessings
07 Jul 2018
09:15AM - 10:15AM
Torah Study
07 Jul 2018
10:30AM -
Learner's Minyan