Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – January 14-15, 2022 (13 Shevat 5782)

January 14-15, 2022                                                                                              Shabbat Beshallach
13 Shevat 5782                                                                                                      Shabbat Shira


Our parasha this week contains the well-known verses of Shirat Ha-yam, the Song of the Sea.

The Israelites have finally escaped slavery in Egypt when Pharaoh changes his mind and sends his armies to pursue them. The Israelites face an almost certain death at the Sea of Reeds. Then, before their eyes, the Sea splits. They walk through onto dry land, and the Sea closes up and drowns the Egyptian armies.  After witnessing and living this miracle, Miriam leads the people in singing a song of redemption: “Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her in dance with timbrels. And Miriam chanted for them: Sing to the Eternal, for the Eternal One has triumphed gloriously; Horse and driver have been hurled into the sea (Ex 15:20-21). This Shabbat, known as Shabbat Shira, celebrates the song itself as well as the freedom it represents.


Be sure to save this paper if you plan to participate in Shabbat services this week. In honor of Shabbat Shira, we will sing Debbie Friedman’s Miriam’s Song. The lyrics are on the reverse side of this page. We also will remember Debbie on this 11th yahrzeit (anniversary of her death).

Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 (no gathering in Synagogue).

Friday at 4:15 PM:         Shabbat Evening Service

Saturday at 10:00 AMShabbat Morning Service

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom, a peaceful Shabbat. To protect the health of all our Residents, we will not be gathering for Shabbat services this week. May Shabbat bring us comfort and peace, and may we take every opportunity to find gratitude for life and health.


Tu BiShvat, the New Year for the Trees, is Monday, January 17. We will not be gathering for our Seder as we had planned. May the New Year for the Trees begin a new year of growth. May it be a year of renewal for the trees and for us. May our eyes be opened to the wonders of creation, and may we nurture the world that nurtures us.


Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 4:47 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:45 PM


Shabbat Shalom & Happy Tu BiShvat!                                                            Rabbi Sherman