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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 8/3/18

Rosh Hashanah is only 37 days away. That’s less time than the rain that lasted 40 days and 40 nights during the Flood. That’s fewer days than Moses spent with God on top of Mount Sinai.

But rather than dwell on the impending High Holy Days, let me inquire about a more down-to-earth matter. If you celebrated becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, do you remember your Torah portion?

Many do, having practiced their parasha so many times they can sing it in their sleep. Others may recall something about the content of their Torah portion. Familiar passages from Genesis and Exodus readily stick in the mind. Laws of ritual sacrifice maybe less so.

Some people may not remember their Torah portion, however, they can recall when their B. Mitzvah took place. A B. Mitzvah on one’s 13th birthday is always memorable. Or the date of the simcha may be associated with a Jewish holiday or a secular event.

This upcoming Simchat Torah, I want to do something that is connected to one’s B. Mitzvah Torah portion. We have long had a custom of inviting students who have a B. Mitzvah in the coming year to stand by their parasha when the Torah is unrolled.

This year, I want to invite everyone in our congregation who has become a B. Mitzvah to do the same. I want people to reconnect with the Torah whether one became a B. Mitzvah last year or 50 years ago.

To accomplish this, I just need you to tell me before Simchat Torah that you plan to be there. If you know your Torah portion– great. If you only know the secular date, no problem, I can look-up your parasha for you. Just let me know by September 26 so I can be sure you will be standing in the right place when the Torah is unrolled.

A passage in Torah proclaims: “Atem Nitzavim Hayom – All of you are standing this day before God.” This coming Simchat Torah, let’s make it a living reality.

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