Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – February 5-6 (24 Shevat 5781)

February 5-6, 2021
Parashat Yitro
24 Shevat 5781
Shabbat Mevarkhim ha-chodesh

We first meet Jethro early in the Book of Exodus. Moses rescues Jethro’s daughters from some shepherds who are harassing the young women at a well. The daughters tell their father about their rescuer, and Jethro invites Moses to join his family at home for a meal. Moses marries Tzipporah, one of Jethro’s daughters, so Jethro becomes the father-in-law of Moses. In this week’s parasha, we read that Jethro brings offerings to the Holy One. Some ancient sages saw those offerings as a sign that Jethro had actually joined the Jewish people.
In a midrash (story), the Rabbis imagine the Holy One saying: “I draw near; I do not drive away. Just as I brought Jethro close and did not drive him away, so too, when someone comes to you to convert for the sake of heaven, you must bring that person close and do not drive him away.”
Today we welcome non-Jews in our congregations and communities. We recognize that many non-Jews are raising committed Jewish children, and we know that many embrace and uphold Jewish traditions and values. Many ultimately choose to become part of the Jewish people.

For Reflection:
In what ways have Jews welcomed non-Jews into Jewish communities?
In what ways have non-Jews enhanced the beauty and holiness of Jewish communities?

Shabbat Mevarkhim Ha-chodesh This Shabbat we bless the new month of Adar, which will begin Thursday night and Friday. The holiday of Purim is the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar.

‘We Remember’ Service: Friday, February 12 at 3:00 PM on Channel 1960 (Residents Only)

Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 (Residents Only):
Friday at 4:30 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service) & Blessings
Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service) & Blessings
On Friday night, I will offer a special blessing for all Residents with February birthdays!

Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo:
Friday evening at 5:08 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:05 PM

Shabbat Shalom!              Rabbi Sherman