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
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.
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.
One of the universal truths I’ve learned from working in different organizational environments is that the people determine the mood and attitude of the office more than the work itself. Parshat Ki Teitzei suggests that when we go out into the world to join forces with others working for common goals, we must do it with purpose and lead those around us to a place of sacred partnership.
The Torah demands that we maintain a vision of a bright future even in the darkness of the present. We are the custodians of the earth, but not the outright owners, and as such, we owe it to the future inhabitants to maintain and care for what we have today.
Whether it’s the beginning of a new nation or a parent teaching a child or a reminder to ourselves about our own friends, the company you keep is who you become, for better or worse. Each of us is the village, and the village is us. How does your village help you be the best version of yourself?