Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – November 20-21, 2020 (5 Kislev 5781)

November 20-21, 2020
5 Kislev 5781
Parashat Toldot

This week’s Torah portion inspires us to consider ourselves part of the continuing line of ancestry of the Jewish people. The text reminds us that we are the descendants of countless generations, and that countless generations will follow after we are gone. Hopefully, we will pass on more than just our names; hopefully, we will pass on stories that teach something about who we are and what has given meaning to our lives.

Hebrew poet Chaim Nachman Bialik remembered his mother’s krechtz (sigh or groan). She would return home from the marketplace each night and would bake bread. As she baked, that sigh emerged as her prayer—a cry of protest and frustration to the Divine. So as Chaim ate bread baked by his mother, he felt that he was eating and connecting with her suffering. Her pain and sighs became part of her legacy and part of his inheritance.

We may remember the sighs and groans (in addition to the hoorays and woo hoos) of our own parents or grandparents, connecting us with them and their experiences. Continuing their legacy, those who come after us will remember our expressions of joy and pain. Our own stories, including our rejoicing and our suffering, will define our legacies.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What “joys and oys” do you remember from your ancestors?
  2. What stories have given meaning to your own life?

Join me on Wednesdays at 11:00 AM for “Shmoozing with Rabbi Sherman.”
All are welcome – limited seating in the Synagogue, audio only on Channel 1960.
Bring your curiosity, an open mind, and whatever Jewish thoughts are on your mind this week

Please join our Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960:
Friday at 4:30 PMKabbalat Shabbat & Shabbat Ma’ariv (Evening Service)
Saturday at 10:00 AMShabbat Shacharit (Morning Service)

If you would like to light the electric Hanukkah menorah for Residents on one of the eight nights of the holiday, please contact Gitta Chernin. She will put your name on our calendar.

Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo:
Friday evening at 4:27 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:24 PM


Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Sherman