Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – July 22-23, 2022 (24 Tammuz 5782)

 July 22-23, 2022                                                                                                                                           Parashat Pinchas
24 Tamuz 5782

In this week’s parsha, five courageous women lay the foundation for future generations who demand equal rights between men and women. The daughters of Zelophehad—Machlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah—plead a case to inherit their father’s landholding, in a time and place when only sons could inherit. The Torah records the changes in the inheritance laws that the women successfully demanded as well as the conditions under which those changes were made: they prepared a convincing case, they chose an appropriate time to speak, and they worked together. They focused not on personal entitlement but on preserving their father’s name and legacy. Our Sages comment: “The daughters of Zelophehad were clever, knew how to interpret, and were righteous…” (Talmud Bava Batra 119b). Their tenacity and determination are a model for those seeking legal protection in subsequent communities and generations.

Tisha B’Av (9th of Av, falls on August 7) – Day of Mourning
Tisha B’Av marks the destruction of both Temples in Jerusalem: the first by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E. and the second by the Romans in 70 C.E. Some people mourn the destructions by sitting on low stools or on the floor chanting Eicha (Lamentations) and kinot (liturgical poems). Some people fast on this day.

Tu B’Av (15th of Av, falls on August 12) – Day of Love
The Talmud refers to Tu B’Av as a festive day when “the young women of Israel would dress in white and go out to the fields and the young men would follow after them” (Ta’anit 4:8). The origins and meaning of Tu B’Av customs are unknown. Possibly this was a mid-summer festival filled with dancing and romancing. Some believe that Tu B’Av’s full moon inspired romance between young people.

Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh
This Shabbat we bless the new month of Av, which will begin Thursday night and Friday. This month is also known as Menachem Av, referring to the comfort we receive from the Holy One as we recall tragic events in our history this month. Following Tisha B’Av, there are seven weeks of consolation, when the prophets offer words of comfort to the mourning Israelites.

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 7:40 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:39 PM


Shabbat Shalom                                                                                                Rabbi Sherman