Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – February 18-19, 2022 (18 Adar 5782)

 February 18-19, 2022                                                                                                                                                                                                     Shabbat Ki Tissa
18 Adar I 5782                                                                                                                


It’s the stuff of Hollywood: Moses descends Mount Sinai with the tablets in his hands, sees the people worshiping a Golden Calf, and smashes the tablets! Then Moses goes back up the mountain to receive a second set, thus renewing the covenant between the Holy One and the people of Israel.

The Rabbis debate which set of tablets was better: the old shattered set or the new set? Some say the old set was better due to its authorship. While the second set was partially written by Moses and therefore subject to human error, the original contained a perfect, pure text supposedly written by the Holy One alone. Others say the second set was better because of its more complete content. Tradition teaches that the second set contained not only the Torah (the first five books) but the entire text of the Hebrew Bible. According to some rabbinic accounts, the second set also contained the Oral Torah, the entire collection of rabbinic tradition and texts. A midrash teaches that the Holy One said to Moses: “Do not be distressed over the first tablets, which contained only the Ten Commandments. In the second tablets, I am giving you also Halacha (Jewish law), Midrash (interpretation) and Aggadah (legends).” According to this understanding, the first set—the Ten Commandments—was just the beginning of basic Judaism. The second set contained everything else and represented a human-Divine partnership.


Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 or in the Synagogue

(limited seating; masks required)

Friday at 4:15 PM:            Shabbat Evening Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room

Saturday at 10:00 AM:     Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room


Shmoozing with Rabbi Sherman Thursdays at 3:00 PM in the Music Room (limited seating; masks required) Bring your Jewish questions, thoughts, ideas and reflections.

Torah Talk Saturdays at 1:30 PM in the Synagogue (limited seating; masks required)

We are studying Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s A Code of Jewish Ethics, focusing on kindness.


Mi she-nichnas Adar marbim b’simcha—when Adar arrives, joy increases.”

This is the month of Adar, and the Rabbis said that this month we have to find joy 😊

Are you celebrating a simcha (joyous occasion)? Do you have a new grandchild, a new great-grandchild, or some other good news to share? Tell me all about it! I will announce your simcha at services, and we’ll broadcast it on the big screens throughout the building. Mazel tov!


Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 5:20 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:16 PM

Shabbat Shalom                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Rabbi Sherman