Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – October 16-17, 2020 (29 Tishrei 5781)

October 16-17, 2020
29 Tishrei 5781                                                                                      

Parashat Bereshit
Shabbat Mevarkhim hahodesh

In the Torah’s account of Creation, humans are created with a spark of the Divine: “And God created humankind in the divine image, creating it in the image of God…” (Genesis 1:17). That we contain that spark is extraordinary; even more remarkable is that we are aware the spark exists! The great Rabbi Akiva recognized that our awareness of this spark makes us even more special: “Beloved are human beings, because they were created in the divine image. But it was through a special love that they became aware that they were created in the divine image.” In other words, we have divinity within us, and we know it.

Since we know we reflect the image of the Divine, how can we be intentionally God-like? Like God, we can care for all of Creation. Like God, we can protect and nurture, we can clothe the needy and offer healing to the sick. We can avoid destruction of the earth and all that is in it. Most importantly, we can help others through gemilut hasadim (acts of kindness).

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What do you think it means to be created in the image of God?
  2. Which, if any, of your characteristics do you consider to be “in the image of God?”
  3. Do you behave in a God-like way? What would it mean if you did?

Join me on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM for “Shmoozing with Rabbi Sherman.”

All are welcome – limited seating in the Synagogue and audio only on Channel 1960.

Bring your curiosity, an open mind, and whatever Jewish thoughts are on your mind this week.

Shabbat Mevarkhim Hahodesh
This week we bless the new month of Heshvan, which will begin Wednesday night.

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 have not yet returned your Machzor (Holy Day prayer book), please leave it at the Front Desk or bring it to my office. You may keep the white, paperback Yizkor (memorial) booklet.

Candle lighting times for the city of Mission Viejo:

Friday evening at 5:57 PM

Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 6:51 PM 

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Sherman