Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – November 26-27, 2021 (23 Kislev 5782)

November 26-27, 2021                                                                                         Shabbat Vayeshev
23 Kislev 5782                                                                                  Shabbat Mevarkhim haChodesh


The Dead Sea Scrolls contain a collection of poems known as Hodayot, or “Thanksgiving Poems.” Many of the poems reflect the theme of gratitude for knowledge and wisdom. Rabbi David Aaron, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, explains that in antiquity, knowledge and understanding were considered direct gifts from the Divine rather than personal accomplishments resulting from diligent study and genetic good fortune.


Rabbi Aaron explains further that gratitude is what sets humans apart from other living creatures. As humans, only we can reflect upon our places in the universe, feel wonder, and express thanks. In one of the Thanksgiving Poems, the author wonders how our “ears [could be] opened… to wondrous mysteries even though we are but creatures of clay, combined with water.” That we alone can understand something of our world is framed as a privilege, worthy of thanksgiving.


If giving thanks is what makes us human, then it follows that when we stop feeling grateful, we lose an important part of humanity. As humans and as Jews, each day is a day for giving thanks.



Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations in the Synagogue or on Channel 1960

Limited seating in the Synagogue (masks required; no cell phones please)


Friday at 4:15 PM:         Shabbat Service with Rabbi Larry Seidman & Rabbi Linda Seidman

Blessings in Dining Room following service

Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Morning Service with Wendy Lupul

Blessings in Dining Room following the service



Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh
This Shabbat we bless the new month of Tevet, which will begin next Friday night and Saturday.


Don’t miss our Hanukkah festivities!! First candle is Sunday, November 28. See Hanukkah flyer for nightly candle lighting schedule and details about our Hanukkah party and other events.


Shabbat candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 4:25 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 5:23 PM

Shabbat Shalom, Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Hanukkah!                         Rabbi Sherman