Shabbat Shalom Dear Readers Parshat Vayetzei 5775

November 28, 2014

Rochel

besyata

This post is a modified version of one that appeared last week on Globe Tribune.Info.

This week, parshat Vayetzei will be read in synagogue on Shabbat morning. Tonight, Friday night candle lighting is  18 minutes before sunset, at 4:12 PM.  in Brooklyn, New York. Shabbat will end on Saturday night at  5:14 PM. in New York City. Chabad.org has a section of their site where you can look up the candle lighting time for your locality. In addition to Chabad.org,  it is worth visiting Aish.com for its articles that can be printed out for reading on Shabbat, as well as its multimedia features that can be enjoyed during the week.

 

This week’s Chabad.org  has a story about a miser who did not empathise at all with the plight of poor people in his community. The rav, whose job it was to collect funds for the poor in the community, found a way to bring home to the rich man how strong the need was for his assistance.

Aish.com has an article written by someone whose feels deeper ties to Jerusalem after the attack in the Har Nof synagogue last week. It is clear in  our times that Jews are a target every place in the world. Jerusalem is the heart of Israel, the center in the spatial dimension of the Jewish people. We will not walk away from it.

A recurring theme in efforts to entice Jews to embrace Christianity. In leaflets with catchy graphics as well as ads on the back of buses, “Isaiah 53″ is cited as “proof” of the messiahship of Jesus. Aish.com addresses these claims from classical Jewish sources, which are usually ignored in discussions of this verse which is so prominently featured in missionary literature. Even aside from missionary designs on the Jewish people, it is remarkable that Jewish biblical commentary, now available more than ever in English and other western languages, is not more in demand by non-Jews who want to learn more about the books of their scriptures.

This week’s parsha  has the famous story of  Jacob’s dream, with the ladder extending to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. The ladder symbolises the connection created through prayer between a human being and G-d.

In this week’s parsha  the births of eleven of the twelve sons of Jacob, the progenitors of the twelve tribes that comprise the Jewish people are recounted. It is interesting that the unity of the Jewish people is not of a homogeneous nature, but rather a unification of diverse elements. “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many,one), which appears on US coinage could also be considered a Jewish concept. Each of the twelve tribes had its own territory in the land of Israel, as well as its own area of specialisation. Yissachar was, for instance devoted to scholarship, where Zevulun was engaged in seafaring and commerce. It is an inherent part of Judaism to recognise that the different tribes belong together because of rather than in spite of their differences. Human beings are created with a need for each other. In a metaphorical sense, we are like cells of a body that contribute to the greater good by performing our own unique roles in society.

 

The haftorah this week is Hosea 11:7-12:14, and deals with the prophet  Hosea’s admonition of the Jewish people for turning away from G-d. Despite this, Hosea promises the  Jewish people that G‑d will not abandon them. This promise remains a consolation to us today, and serves as a reassurance that Jewish prophets have not been replaced with those of other faiths.

The pashas in the book of Beraishit (Genesis) are very heavy on personal narrative. When we read the stories of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, we are shown the stories that shaped the character of the Jewish people.

May it be G-d’s will that the exile that has lasted for so many centuries come speedily to an end, and may we be refocused and renewed in the practice of our faith and beliefs.

 

This week’s parsha  has the famous story of  Jacob’s dream, with the ladder extending to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. The ladder symbolises the connection created through prayer between a human being and G-d.

In this week’s parsha  the births of eleven of the twelve sons of Jacob, the progenitors of the twelve tribes that comprise the Jewish people are recounted. It is interesting that the unity of the Jewish people is not of a homogeneous nature, but rather a unification of diverse elements. “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many,one), which appears on US coinage could also be considered a Jewish concept. Each of the twelve tribes had its own territory in the land of Israel, as well as its own area of specialisation. Yissachar was, for instance devoted to scholarship, where Zevulun was engaged in seafaring and commerce. It is an inherent part of Judaism to recognise that the different tribes belong together because of rather than in spite of their differences. Human beings are created with a need for each other. In a metaphorical sense, we are like cells of a body that contribute to the greater good by performing our own unique roles in society.

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