Torah: Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35) Haftarah:(Ezekiel 28:25-29:21)
The Torah Parsha;
G-d tells Moses to go before Pharaoh and ask him to let the Israelites leave Egypt. Moses responds that Pharaoh will not listen and apologetically explains that, because of a speech impediment, he is not the right person to represent the Jewish people. G-d answers that Moses’ brother Aaron will accompany him as a spokesman. Aaron and Moses appear before Pharaoh to request freedom for the Israelites. Pharaoh refuses, and seven of the ten plagues are set upon Egypt. Pharaoh remains stubborn and will not let the Israelites go.
Judaic Values and Concepts
Morashah: Heritage G-d promises to give the land of Canaan to the children of Israel as the heritage (Exodus 6:8). A “heritage” may be spiritual, remaining in the recipient’s possession regardless of their actions. The outstanding example of such a heritage in Judaism is the Torah, which belongs to the people of Israel forever. The land of Canaan is material heritage, conditional on the conduct of the children of Israel.
Let us consider Abraham Joshua Heschel’s statement:
There need be no prayerful mood in us when we begin to pray. It is through our reading and feeling the words of the prayers, through the imaginative projection of our unconsciousness into the meaning of the words, and through empathy for the ideas with which the words are pregnant, that this type of prayer comes to pass. Here the words come first, the feeling follows… At first, the words and their meaning seem to lie beyond the horizon of the mind. How remote is the meaning of “Blessed be Thou” to thoughts in which we are usually immersed. We must, therefore, remember that the experience of prayer does not come all at once.
So, while we have prayers that are spiritual and others that are more tangible, within each Jew we feel the connections to G-d,Torah, and Israel as we pray. Over the years the meaning and feeling of prayer makes one’s mood change. Praying together takes on the uniqueness of becoming a part of the Jewish heritage, while praying daily alone or weekly brings a higher sense of spirituality.
Shabbat Shalom and Have a Happy New Year,
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder