Torah Tidbits


The Last Shabbat of 5773 is the Most Precious of All!

Shabbat Parashat Nitzavim-VaYelech

August 31, 2013 – 25 Elul 5773

The Last Shabbat of 5773 is the Most Precious of All!

Every Shabbat is precious, but the last Shabbat of the Jewish year is the most precious of all.

Each week, at the end of the week, on the seventh day of the Jewish week, we celebrate Shabbat – a precious day which has the potential to center us, to remind us of our humanity, to restore our spirits, to bring us closer to God, to family, and to community.

How much more precious is the last Shabbat of the Jewish year!

On this Shabbat, we read the Torah portions of Nitzavim and VaYelech.

Nitzavim [standing; present; upright] represents our individual and our collective presence in the moment – our participation in the Covenant of our people with God.

VaYelech [And he went…] represents our acknowledgment of the power of forward motion.  We are present in the moment but we are also in motion.  We look forward to the new year.

Our tradition reminds us that it is never too late to celebrate Shabbat.  Even if we have missed opportunities to celebrate other Shabbatot during the past year, we still have the opportunity to make this final Shabbat our own.  We can still decide to give Shabbat a special place in our lives – to make Shabbat a time in which we remind ourselves of who we are and why we were created.

And, just as it is never too late to take ownership of the gift of Shabbat, it is never too late to make the most of the upcoming Days of Awe – of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.

It is never too late to seize the moment and to remind ourselves that we have hope for the future; that we believe that our lives can have meaning and significance in this world; that we can believe in the power of good decisions to stand up for good and for justice, for mercy and for love, and to help us come together to create a better world.

I look forward to seeing you at Rodef Sholom Temple on this last Shabbat of the Jewish year of 5773 – the most precious Shabbat of all!

Let us stand together and let us determine to move forward together toward a better future for all of us, for all the people Israel, and for all people everywhere!

I hope you will join us for an unusually thought provoking and spiritually moving Selichot program and service at Rodef Sholom Temple on this Saturday night at  9 p.m. and I take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Shana tova u’metukah – a good year filled with sweetness and joy.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!

Rabbi Gilah Dror