Tidbits of Torah

rst stained class window

Tidbits of Torah
Shabbat Parashat Yitro
February 2, 2013 – 22 Shevat 5773

Dear Friends,

Why am I so proud of our Shabbat Schools? For a combination of reasons….

First of all, our Shabbat School services are truly an inter-generational spiritual experience!

Although, as a rule, students lead much of the service, there are times when parts of the service are led by our adult participants. Our students are not isolated in a separate student minyan. They do get to have some separate time with their teachers during the service, but they also get to participate and to lead parts of the service for all of us.

Secondly, Shabbat School involves preparation on the part of our students, as well as on the part of our dedicated teachers and on the part of Tess Goldblatt, our gifted Education Director.

Best of all, the Shabbat School service provides excellent preparation for our students for their lives beyond Confirmation. As they “graduate” from our formal Jewish education program, our students will feel comfortable in any synagogue or Jewish community around the world because at Shabbat School, and in preparation for Shabbat School, our students become immersed in Jewish tradition and practice. That preparation is priceless!

Our Torah portion of Yitro includes the story of our people receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.

Torah tells us that men, women, and children, young and old, all gathered together at the foot of Mount Sinai. It was an amazing inter-generational spiritual moment for our people that is echoed in our Shabbat School experiences at Rodef Sholom Temple.

The Torah also tells us that the people had to prepare for that special moment at Mount Sinai. Yet, even as Moses was on the mountaintop for the first time, the people sinned by creating the Golden Calf. After pleading for the people, Moses returned to Mount Sinai and brought down the second set of tablets. These differed from the original tablets in that, this time, Moses participated in the writing of the Ten Commandments rather than simply receiving the tablets from Above.

Moses’ participation in the writing of the second set of tablets points to the power of participation in helping all of us to absorb and to internalize the messages of the Torah.

Inter-generational programs and prayers, as well as preparation and participation are the key to lifelong involvement and to lifelong commitment to Jewish life and to Jewish values. And, all of these elements come together in our Shabbat Schools….Now you know why I am so proud of our Shabbat Schools!

So, come join us for this week’s Friday night service and don’t miss the joy of our Shabbat morning services which will include Rodef Sholom Temple’s Shabbat School as well this week!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror