Toldot novi 5777

Shalom friends,

I’d like to wish Ela Levy a huge mazal tov on her Bati celebration this Friday night at our synagogue. May you only rejoice in happiness and everlasting growth and make your family proud by your achievements! We are now in the month of Kislev counting the days to Chanukah. Watch this space for news on this year’s Chanukah function, looking forward to having all those around join the fun.

My family and I will be away next week and return the following Sunday. I thank Rabbi Maisles for his willingness to officiate and deliver the sermons and morning dvar Torah at the synagogue next Friday evening and Shabbat.

See If It Sticks

The ongoing battles and philosophical conflicts between good and bad, right and wrong and ultimate truth stem as far back as Cain and Hevel in Biblical sources and on to Esau and Yakov and their heirs until this very day.

Esau is the pinnacle of lowliness while Yakov resembles higher values. However it seems from the scriptural findings that Esau was a man of action, a man of the outside world busy in the field and caring for continuity through his toil of the land. Yakov on the other hand seemed to be dwelling in tents, almost as if he is not connected to what is going on around him. The invaluable interpretation of Unkelos ( Rome- Israel, third century) suggest the exact opposite interpretation to the word ‘man of the field’ related to Esau when he describes it as ‘nachshidechan’ meaning a procrastinator. Unkelos understands that one’s actions are measured by his contribution to the world in relation to mending results for generation to come. If so the the action- packed behaviour of Esau is seen as one emphasising the immediate here and now, non-considerate of the future, while that of Yakov was meant to establish something long -lasting and futuristic. Rabbi Neventzhal proofs this from the void remnants of Esau today and the very active voice of yakov carried through Am israel. Yakov was known for his rapturous abilities of speech and Esau for his muscular efficacy. While you cant win battles with a nice sermon, you can surely build empires through your wisdom and understanding of life. Strength lies in the ability to create a future through choices that you will be happy of not only now but in future as well. yakov wants us all to look ahead, and sometimes even beyond the Esau that seems to be so much stronger and prevalent. Yakov believes in us and calls for our silent action, one that will bear fruits for not only the gratifying moment, but for eternal triumph.

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