I want to start by reading four versus found in this week’s Torah portion – Kedoshim.
• You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly.
• Do not use rumors to stir up your countrymen. Do not profit by the blood of your fellow: I am the LORD.
• You shall not hate your kinsfolk in your heart. Hold your kinsman accountable, but incur no guilt because of him.
• You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
Last week, I mentioned two students from Mount Abraham that have started a petition to require a Holocaust curriculum in Vermont schools.
This week was Yom HaShoah, not just Holocaust Memorial Day, but a sacred day on the Jewish calendar. Just as we remember the destruction of the Jerusalem by Rome on Tisha b’Av in the summer, so we remember what happened to us and what we lost, the Jewish people, in the Holocaust. It is our obligation to remember, to not forget, and to not allow it to be forgotten, and in this, we are failing.
WHY WE ARE SAYING YIZKOR FOR ISRAELI’S FALLEN
My father was a very proud American. I grew up in one of those American families where we went outside to pledge allegiance to the flag every holiday, and wore red, white and blue most days of our lives until we could get our own clothes.
Yet, though I was six, I can still remember my father’s jubilation when Israel won the Six Day War…
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This week’s portion finds us at the foot of Mount Sinai, where God descends as a cloud upon the mountain and reveals his glory and law to Moses. It is not surprising, then, that this portion contains what might be the most sublime mystical lines in the entire Torah, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.”
Hello Temple Sinai,
(Note: we are making some changes to our newsletters and weekly emails; scroll down for info.)
HAPPY TU BISHVAT! In Jewish tradition, it’s the new year for trees. This was originally because of the rule in Leviticus that one doesn’t consume the fruit of a tree for the first three years, and the fruit of the fourth year was donated to the Temple…
Also in this email:
– Tu bShvat Seder and Havdalah
– International Holocaust Remembrance Day
– Encore Class – Jewish Way of Death and Mourning
– Changes to newsletter and weekly email
– Blessings for getting the COVID vaccine
A DARKNESS THAT CAN BE TOUCHED
In this week’s Torah Portion, Bo, we hear of the final two plagues brought against Pharaoh, plagues that lead in this portion to the first Passover and the beginning of the Exodus.
The ninth plague is darkness. After rivers of blood, locusts, hail, dead frog soup, and boils, darkness doesn’t seem all that bad. Yet it is the plague just before the death of the first born, and so was a plague that seen as the most severe possible other than massive death.