Rabbi Sherman Weekly Torah Commentary January 6-7, 2023 (14 Tevet 5783)

  January 6-7, 2023                                                                                                             Parashat Vayechi 14 Tevet 5783 

At various points in our lives, most of us probably have made promises. We intend to keep the promises we make, and the people to whom we make them expect us to keep true to our word. But what happens when we make a promise to someone who will never know whether or not we’ve kept our word?

Our patriarch Jacob is on his deathbed when he asks his sons to promise not to bury him in Egypt (Genesis 47:28-30). Jacob’s last wish is to be buried in his homeland, specifically in the Cave of Machpelah, alongside Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah. In his request, Jacob uses the words, chesed v’emet (faithful kindness). We use these words today to describe the mitzvah (commandment) of accompanying the deceased to burial. We call it an act of “faithful kindness” because there is no opportunity to reciprocate.

Joseph promises to honor his father’s wishes, and he fulfills that promise. Jacob never would have known if his sons had not honored his request. This sets a high standard for the promises we make in our own lives. Whether or not the recipient will know, our tradition inspires us to keep our promises with “faithful kindness” – holding true to our word even when there is no opportunity for the other to reciprocate.

“Torah Talk” — Saturday Afternoons at 1:30 PM  Join us in a study of The Book of Proverbs: A Social Justice Commentary by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz. In his introduction, Rabbi Yanklowitz writes that the Book of Proverbs is “spiritual but not religious.” Let’s learn how these ancient proverbs can have spiritual meaning in our lives today. Masks required. Previous knowledge of Proverbs or the Hebrew Bible NOT REQUIRED!

“Women in the Bible” with Rabbi David Young of Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Fountain Valley Friday, January 13 at 1:30 PM in the Synagogue Learn about some of the women in the Bible with Rabbi Young Previous knowledge of the Bible not required

Please join our Shabbat celebrations in the Synagogue (masks required) or on Channel 1960

Friday at 5:00 PM                 Shabbat Blessings in the Dining Room

Friday at 6:30 PM                 Shabbat Musical Birthday Service with Rabbi Sherman & Cantor Shikler Special blessing for Residents celebrating January birthdays Music made possible by the Surie Family Jewish Music Fund

Saturday at 10:00 AM        Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room Candle lighting time for Shabbat for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 4:40 PM Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:39 PM

Shabbat Shalom!                                                                                                         Rabbi Sherman