Shabbat Shalom Dear Readers Parshat Ki Teitzei 5775

August 28, 2015

Sephardic Sefer Torah

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The following post is an edited version of an article that appeared last year on Globe Tribune.Info.

This week, Parshat Ki Seitze will be read in synagogue from the Sefer Devarim. (Book of Deuteronomy)

In Brooklyn, NY, candle lighting will be at 7:17 PM. Candle lighting is 18 minutes before sunset. Shabbat ends in New York City at 8:36PM. The times of candle lighting differ from city to City. Chabad.org has a section of their web site where you can look up candle lighting for your locality. In America this can be done by zip code. In addition to multimedia, both Chabad.org and Aish.com have stories that can be printed out to read on Shabbat while your computer is resting along with you.

One article on Aish.com tells the story of Steve Maman, who has been described as a modern day Oscar Schindler. Mr. Maman has taken it upon himself to ransom women and children who are being held captive by ISIS, and who have endured unspeakable suffering while in captivity. What is best of all about the article is that it provides links for those who wish to donate and fund Mr. Maman’s efforts. Globe Tribune.Info has made a donation to this worthy cause and urges its readers to do likewise. The process of making a donation is streamlined through Paypal, a link to which is provided on the website of C.Y.C.I. the organisation established by Mr. Maman to ransom Yazidi and Christian captives.

Chabad.org published an article dealing with the recent stock market turbulence. The article reminded us that even in our high tech century, we are no less dependent upon the Almighty for our sustenance than were our ancestors thousands of years ago. Such dependence is true in the stock market, manufacturing and in agriculture, as well as anything else that might come to mind as a means of earning a living.

This week’s parsha has some interesting biblical commandments. Some make rational sense, such as putting a fence around one’s roof, and not harnessing animals of two different species to the same plough. There are also commandments that make no rational sense, such as one prohibiting the wearing of wool and linen mixed together. It should be noted that there are more commandments (74) out of the total of 613 commandments.

One commandment instructs Jews not to hate Egyptians “because you were a stranger in his land.” It is interesting to note that even though our relationship with the Egyptians went notoriously bad, that we are still enjoined to remember the hospitality that preceded our enslavement. By reflecting upon the impermanence and fickleness of human friendships and political alliances, one is reminded that G-d is the ultimate guarantor of our well being. It is interesting to note that Egyptian converts are allowed to marry other Jews in the third generation, where male Moabites are not allowed to marry within the Jewish people after converting. Today, since the genealogies of nations and individuals are far less clear, there are no such limitations on the number of generations an Egyptian or anyone else must wait before marrying within the Jewish people.

Very frequently, a new job, a new place to live or even an intimate relationship can become problematic. It is always good to remember the time when the job, place to live or familial relationship was once a step up and a step forward. Often, the old magic can be replaced with new magic as a relationship moves forward. At the very least, business and personal relationships that one has left behind can be seen as a step on one’s intended path. It would seem that this is a lesson we can take from our time in Egypt.

As the sun sets earlier this time of year, it is a reminder that life itself goes by quickly and to make the most of it. It should be noted that this month of Elul, every day of the month except for Shabbat and the day before Rosh Hashanah, the shofar is sounded at the end of week day prayers. Coming to shul on a week day during the month of Elul certainly helps to get into the mood of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. In Elul, a month of preparation precedes the month of Tishrei, in which thirteen out of thirty days are either festivals, days of fasting or both. According to many opinions all the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are also holidays of a sort. If a human being were to design a calendar of religious holidays, he or she would almost certainly spread them around the year. May the upcoming year be one of peace and revelation for all of the people on this troubled planet.

 

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