As his final wish, Moses simply wants to be listened to. Isn’t that what we’re all seeking? We all want the reassurance of knowing our voices are being heard. May the gift of listening - both giving and receiving - be something we take with us into the new year.
Erev Rosh Hashanah 5781 – September 18, 2020 Rabbi David Kosak, Klal Gadol B’Torah: A Story of Love and Loss in a Time of Pandemic – Text Rosh Hashanah 5781 (Day 1) – September 19, 2020 Rabbi Eve Posen, The Power We Give – Text Click here for an archive of past recordings
In the last week or so, congregant Carolyn Weinstein sent me a moving video about a WWII colonel from Tennessee, Roddie Edmonds. Given the era and where he grew up, the army was the first time he had met Jews. As things transpired, many Jews served under his leadership. He and his unit were captured by the Germans, and spent the last days of the war in a POW camp.
Let me begin by sending you my prayers and blessings. I sincerely hope that you are safe. It seems we are faced with one trial after another, and these fires are just the latest challenge. Just this morning, I was taping shut our basement door, which is probably original to our 73 year old home. After all that time, it doesn’t form the tightest seal, and smoke was infiltrating. The masking tape seems to have stopped most of that.
One night during our bedtime tuck-in, Shiri asked me if her Papa (my dad) loved her. She believes he did, even though he died before she was even an inkling in my mind. It isn’t easy to talk about death, especially when it involves thinking about our own mortality or the possibility that loved ones might have to learn how to live without us. However, the Torah says we're not only obligated to face this reality, we must also prepare for it.
One of the most successful ad campaigns of all time is Coca Cola’s “It’s the real thing.” While the actual line appeared in Coke’s branding materials dating back to the 1940’s, the more modern ad concept was launched in 1969 and revisited in the 1990’s and again in 2005.
As the wise Torah sage Paul Simon expressed, “Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest.” Parshat Ki Tavo is a yearly reminder that it’s not enough to use our senses passively; we must open our eyes and ears to really see the true world around us - the good, the bad, and what we can work together to fix.