Rabbi Sherman Weekly Torah Commentary November 4-5, 2022 (11 Cheshvan 5783)

 November 4-5, 2022                                                                                                    Parashat Lech Lecha

11 Cheshvan 5783

This week we read that the Holy One appears to 99-year-old Avram, reminding him of the covenant between then and establishing circumcision as a physical sign of that agreement. Avram receives a promise that his descendants will be abundant, and that the land will be sufficient for their dwelling. In return, circumcision is to be performed not only on Avram and his male descendants but also on the servants in his household. The penalty for violating the covenant is severe: those who fail to observe this rite will be “cut off” from their people (Gen 17:14).

Contemporary rabbis note that the specificity of this physical mark raises significant questions. Since circumcision is only performed on males, what is the nature of the covenant between the Holy One and Sarai’s descendants—the women? How is it similar to or different from the covenant for men? How do we understand this gender-specific ritual in our day? How else might the relationship be established and known?

For Reflection:

What does it mean to you to be bound by a covenant, a pledge of mutual obligation and responsibility?

Do you feel bound by any such agreement? Under what circumstances would you be willing to violate it?


“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. Previous knowledge of Proverbs or the Hebrew Bible NOT REQUIRED!


Friday, November 25 at 4:15 PM – Shabbat Evening Service at a new time

Mark your calendar – services on the 4th Friday of each month will be at 4:15 PM

Join in welcoming Shabbat as the sun is setting, then enjoy your Shabbat dinner following the service.


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 November 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 5:38 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:33 PM


Shabbat Shalom!                                                                                                         Rabbi Sherman