The The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. calls upon us to rise and honor our elders. Instead, this week we sat Seven-day mourning period following the funeral of a first-degree relative, during which time family members remain at home and receive visits of comfort. Other customs include abstinence from bathing and sex, covering mirrors, sitting lower than other visitors, and the lighting of a special memorial candle which burns for seven days. for our elders.
Those to whom we look for wisdom on how to navigate this world.
Od yenuvun be-saivah deshanim ve-ra’ananim yeheyu—in old age they still produce fruit; they are full of sap and freshness (Ps. 92: 15).
How did seivah—old age—become shiva—sitting in shock for untimely death?
Rose Mallinger, 97
Melvin Wax, 88
Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 84 and 86
Joyce Fienberg, 75
Daniel Stein, 71
Irving Younger, 69
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
Richard Gottfried, 65
Cecil Rosenthal, 59
David Rosenthal, 54
Shall we also sit shiva for America the beautiful, land that we love;
Shall we sit shiva for Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. and The first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah. who welcomed the stranger to their tent;
Shall we sit shiva for the leadership of The quintessential Jewish leader who spoke face to face with God, unlike any other prophet, and who freed the people from Egypt, led them through the desert for forty years, and received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. His Hebrew name is Moshe. who was the humblest of all people;
Shall we sit shiva for Hillel who taught that which is hateful to you, do not do to another, the rest is commentary—go and be that commentary;
Shall we sit shiva for Emma Lazarus whose poem adorns the Lady who welcomes immigrants to this country with the torch of liberty;
For this week we did sit shiva with the Holy One who made all humans in God’s image—as God sat weeping amidst the ruins of a sanctuary.
There are those who proclaim darkness is light
Who proclaim fake is true
Who say that everyone not like them is an other.
Who live by stereotype and prejudice
Who seek to divide, disparage and demean
Yet in the face of the encroaching darkness, we gather and hold hands proclaiming our humanity.
Long ago, we ate of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. We know good and evil. Each week we strive to separate darkness from light, brokenness from wholeness, helping from harming.
For there was another tree in the Garden of Eden. Each week we grasp that Tree of Life as we return the Torah scroll to the ark. We hold on to that Torah even as another eleven have joined the too long list of Jews who were killed only because they were Jews.
Their deaths were not a The Jewish concept or commandment to sanctify (make holy) God’s name.—a sanctification of God’s name. Their deaths were a horrible tragedy.
The The prayer recited over wine on Shabbat, holidays, and other joyous occasions. Lit. The Name, referring to the ineffable name of God; used as a substitute for any of the more sacred names of God when not speaking in prayer. Particularly used in conversation./sanctification of God’s name is how we will live our lives in the light of their lives.
We will continue to choose life over death, caring over callousness, meaning over meanness.
Od lo avdah tikvateinu—we will not lose hope.
We will organize. We will help. We will march. We will reach out. We will lobby. We will have compassion and we will vote.
The time of mourning is past. It is time to A writ of divorce. Traditionally, only a man can grant his wife a get. Liberal Jews have amended this tradition, making divorce more egalitarian. up from shiva.
It is the time to stand—to stand up and cry out:
Ha-shoftei ha-aretz lo ya’asu mishpat?—Shall the rulers of this land not stand up for justice?
For even if the messiah tarries we still believe:
Tzedek tzedek tirdof—Justice, justice you shall surely pursue.