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   Sunday, September 24 

   Kol Nidre, 6:00pm                         


   Monday, September 25                                       

   Yom Kippur Day - 9:00am

   Children’s Programming - 10:30am

   Yizkor Service                                          10:30am

   Book Discussion                                        3:45pm

   Mincha/ Neilah                                         4:30pm               Havdalah Shofar                                      7:23pm

Rabbi's Weekly Commentary

If you’ve been attending our morning minyan - or if you know someone who has - you might have heard that our Torah reading these past two weeks has been a bit unusual. Both this week and last week, the Torah portion we’ve read from is Ha’azinu! Why would we repeat the same portion two weeks in a row? 


The answer is: our regularly scheduled cycle of Torah readings - one parasha every week - was adjusted to accommodate the special Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah. Since we didn’t read Parashat Ha’azinu last week on Shabbat, it’s still our parasha this week. On Shabbat morning, some of us will hear this parasha read for the first time this year - and for others of us, the words of this parasha will sound very familiar!  


“Give ear, O heavens, let me speak; let the earth hear the words I utter!” These opening words are spoken by Moses, as are all the words in the book of Devarim, or Deuteronomy, as Moses takes his last opportunity to address the Jewish people before the end of his life. Since we are now almost to the end, and Moses’ address is almost over, he opens with an especially urgent plea to be heard.


He continues, “May my discourse come down as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, like showers on young growth, like droplets on the grass.” Moses is hoping for his teaching to be like water. Rashi and Midrash Sifrei both note that water enables growth, and this growth brings life.


This coming Shabbat is also Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. At this time of year, we are especially focused on personal growth, and our parasha helps us remember that growth is part of life! 


Further, our parasha reminds us of the importance of water, especially at this time of year. In two weeks, on Shmini Atzeret, we will begin to add back in our prayers for rain, which we only say during the winter months. 


As we read Parashat Ha’azinu this year - for the second week in a row - let’s remember these two important themes of water and growth. May the words of Torah be for us just as Moses hoped: may they be like water, helping us grow, and helping us live.


G’mar hatimah tovah,

Rabbi Miriam Potok



Fri, September 22 2023 7 Tishrei 5784