Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – September 11-12, 2020 (23 Elul 5780)

September 11-12, 2020
Parshiyot Nitzavim + Vayelekh
23 Elul 5780

Here at Heritage Pointe, we keep repeating the phrase: “We are in this together” – meaning that in protecting ourselves from the Coronavirus, everyone in our community, in our country, and in the world has to take care of each other. We wear masks over our mouths and noses because they keep us safe, but we also wear them because doing so keeps others safe. This idea of considering others in addition to ourselves has deep roots in Judaism.

In Parashat Nitzavim, Moses delivers the final speech of his life. Among other things, he warns the Israelites against those who continue to worship idols. He says that idol worshipers are selfish people who think only of themselves and not of others in the community. That kind of thinking, says Moses, deserves terrible punishments.

Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin suggests that what really angers Moses is that people who worship idols can get away with doing whatever they want, regardless of others. They are following their “own willful heart.” Moses warns that this attitude ultimately will destroy the Jewish people.

For Reflection:
What are examples of things we do that take others into account?
In what ways do we show our commitment to the larger Jewish community?
What would our Jewish community look like if we each focused only on ourselves?

Haftarah of Consolation – We read the last of seven special Haftarah portions of consolation following Tisha B’Av and leading up to Rosh HaShanah. This week’s Haftarah is a selection from the Book of Isaiah, 61:10-63:9. The reader can almost feel the anticipation as Isaiah speaks with hope and excitement about pending salvation and revelation.

Please join our Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960.

Friday at 4:30 PM, followed by candle lighting, Kiddush, hand washing, and motzi
Saturday at 10:00 AM, followed by Kiddush, hand washing, and motzi

Shabbat candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo is 6:44 PM.

Selichot Selichot are penitential prayers offered after Shabbat, the week prior to Rosh HaShanah. Our Selichot service helps us get in the mood for the Yamim Nora’im (Days of Awe). Our Selichot service will take place at 6:30 PM Saturday night on Channel 1960.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Sherman