Rabbi Sherman Weekly Torah Commentary September 16-17, 2022 (21 Elul 5782)

 September 16-17, 2022                                                                                                                                Parashat Ki Tavo

21 Elul 5782                                                                                                                                                      


This week, Parashat Ki Tavo describes a special ceremony known as Viddui Bikkurim, Confession of First Fruits. This ritual was originally performed at the Festival of First Fruits, the festival we now observe as Shavuot. As part of the Viddui Bikkurim, Israelites expressed their identification with the experience of slavery in Egypt and the liberation from that slavery. Why did this ancient ritual require a recitation of history? Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin writes that memory carries with it a sense of obligation, not merely curiosity and nostalgia: “Memory creates identity; it means locating your brief life within a larger context and within a story that gives it meaning and direction.” Understanding history helps us understand and navigate the present.

For Reflection:

How much does your family history influence your life?

Why do you think Jews have a particular fondness for memory and history?


Haftarah of Consolation  We read the sixth of seven special Haftarah portions of consolation leading up to Rosh HaShanah. This week, the prophet Isaiah focuses on images of light to remind the people that although they may be experiencing a dark time, the light of the Holy One eventually will return. The first verse of the Haftarah was adapted for Lecha Dodi, a poem/song from our Friday night liturgy, sung to greet the Sabbath bride: “Arise, shine, for your light has dawned; the Presence of the Holy One has shone upon you!” (Isaiah 60:1) Isaiah also promises the people that one day they all will gather together again.


Selichot Service – Saturday, September 17 at 6:30 PM in the Synagogue and on Channel 1960

Selichot are penitential prayers that we offer beginning on Saturday night before Rosh HaShanah. When Rosh HaShanah begins on a Sunday or Monday night, as it does this year, we hold our Selichot service a week earlier in order to have more time to prepare for the Holy Days. This is our opportunity to reflect on the past and improve ourselves for the year to come. We also get to sing the Holy Day melodies for the first time since last year. Come join Rabbi Sherman and Cantorial Soloist Michael Sokol for this very special annual 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 Evening Service

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 6:37 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:31 PM


Shabbat Shalom                                                                                                                                              Rabbi Sherman