Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – January 22-23, 2021

January 22-23, 2021                                                                                                   Parashat Bo

10 Shevat 5781                                                                                  


Next Thursday we will celebrate Tu BiShvat – the new year for the trees. The holiday is observed on the 15th (“Tu” is an abbreviation for 15) of the Hebrew month of Shevat. Scholars believe this originated as an agricultural festival that marked the beginning of spring in the 17th century. The Kabbalists created a ritual for the holiday similar to the Passover Seder.

We will hold a virtual Seder at Heritage Pointe on Thursday, Jan 28 at 3:00 PM on Channel 1960. This special in-house TV Channel is for Residents only. During the Seder, we will offer blessings for the gift of creation. We will eat fruits and nuts from various kinds of trees. Our dining room staff will deliver a box with all the items you will need for the Seder. You also will receive a Seder booklet. Please have your booklet and box of snacks ready when you participate in the virtual Seder. Many people plant trees in Israel at this time, in honor or memory of loved ones. Following our Seder, watch video of this year’s tree planting ceremony on Channel 1963. We are planting the second of seven trees in our new biblical garden, just outside the café. Thank you to Resident Marvin Blum for donating this tree in memory of his late wife, Betty.

Healing & Hope – Friday, January 22 at 3:00 PM on Channel 1960

Feeling overwhelmed by the pandemic, the divisions in our country, and other stressors?

Let’s join together virtually as we turn to texts and psalms from our tradition to bring us comfort.

Prayer for Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine – Monday, January 25

As you know, we are scheduled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. I invite you to refer to the prayer I sent a couple weeks ago. Additional copies will be available at the vaccination site.

Tu BiShvat Seder – Thursday, January 28 at 3:00 PM on Channel 1960

Tree planting ceremony – Thursday, January 28 at 4:00 PM on Channel 1963 (includes some fun videos on the holiday, some music, and the actual tree planting at Heritage Pointe!)

Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960:

Friday at 4:30 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service) & Blessings

Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service) & Blessings

Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo:

Friday evening at 4:54 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:53 PM

Shabbat Shalom!                                                                                Rabbi Sherman