Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – July 8-9, 2022 (10 Tamuz 5782)

 July 8-9, 2022                                                                                                             Parashat Chukat
10 Tamuz 5782                                                                               

“We suffer in silence.” Does this sound familiar? Probably it does not. Suffering in silence is not what our people do. If this sentence does sound a bit familiar, it may be because Yente the matchmaker says it on more than one occasion in the classic film, Fiddler on the Roof. Yente says this with great sarcasm, making it clear that we absolutely do not intend to suffer silently. From the Torah to the Talmud, from Yente to Yarmulkes, Jews are inclined to speak up and speak out.

This week’s parsha contains one of the most action-packed dramas in the entire Torah: Miriam dies, the people become extremely thirsty, Moses disobeys the commandment to speak to the rock instead of striking it, Moses and Aaron learn they will never enter the Land of Israel, Aaron dies, and a great battle is waged against some Amorite kings and their armies. We read of war, the death of major leaders, and shocking news about Moses, but what is most striking is that we read the narrative of events and we don’t hear from the people themselves. Sure, they kvetched about the lack of water, but beyond that, a rare silence.

These days, we read and hear bad news all the time. We digest the narratives of local, national, and international events. But what makes the stories impactful and relevant are the voices of the people who experience those events. As Jews, how do we make our voices heard? We ask questions. We act like journalists, or Talmudic scholars, seeking to understand the perspectives behind the narratives. We might join a public protest. We might write a letter to a representative or to a newspaper editor. We might offer some insight to other Residents in a formal program or in casual conversation. Whether public or private, sharing our voices is a very Jewish thing to do.

To share your voice, come join in “Shmoozing with Rabbi Sherman” in the Music Room on Thursdays at 3:00PM. Share your opinion, your experience, or your perspective. Listen to the voices of others; discover some shared viewpoints, and engage in respectful discussion where there are differences. Speaking up, speaking out, and shmoozing are very Jewish activities!


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 7:46 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:46 PM


Shabbat Shalom                                                                                               Rabbi Sherman