October 21-22, 2022 Parashat Bereshit
27 Tishrei 5783 Shabbat Mevarkhim haChodesh
On Simchat Torah, we completed our annual cycle of Torah reading and started over again. This Shabbat, we read from Parashat Bereshit, where we learn that we are created in the Divine image. Perhaps this helps us understand that we are all connected. We are reflections of the Divine and of each other.
We read in Genesis that Eve gave birth to Cain. The literal translation: “she continued to give birth” (Gen 4:2) implies that Cain was not made alone or separate; rather, he was a continuation or reflection of his brother. Of course, we know what happened. Cain killed his brother, Abel. Danny Maseng, Hazzan at Temple Israel of Hollywood, teaches that Cain’s real sin was that he saw himself as disconnected from his brother. He killed his brother Abel, but in the process, his own heart got broken. Maseng writes that we can feel Cain’s broken heart. When we see others suffering and think it has nothing to do with us, we still feel the pain.
The great Hasidic teacher known as the Kotzker Rebbe said: “If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. but if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you.” This is linguistically confusing but strikingly powerful. If I stand alone and do not show concern for others, then I will be truly alone. But when I relate to and have empathy for another human being’s pain, that is how I express my humanness.
Perhaps we ought to look at others as though we are looking into a mirror. This might help us remember that we all were created in the image and the likeness of the Divine. Another’s pain is my pain.
Torah Talk Returns – Saturday, October 22 Join us on Shabbat afternoons to study 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 study how these ancient proverbs can have spiritual meaning in our lives today. You do not need to have any background experience or knowledge in Proverbs or the Hebrew Bible!
Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh
This Shabbat we bless the new month of Cheshvan, which will begin Monday night and Tuesday.
This month is called MarCheshvan (bitter Cheshvan) because there are no holidays during the month.
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 5:52 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:46 PM
Shabbat Shalom! Rabbi Sherman