Torah Tidbits

Coming Home to Family!featured-rabbi

Shabbat Parashat Re’eh

Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh

August 22, 2014 – 27 Av 5774

Dear Friends,

After spending a month in Israel, visiting family and friends, and simply soaking up the unique ambience of Israel during the period of Operation Protective Edge, it is good to be back home again with the Virginia Peninsula branch of my family and with my extended family at Rodef Sholom Temple.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge, and to give special thanks to our staff, and to all of the volunteers who took on extra roles in my absence, to ensure the smooth functioning of our Temple throughout the summer!  Thank you!!!!

This past week, while I was in Israel, the second Conservative/Masorti Movement Solidarity Mission to Israel took place.   I think you will particularly enjoy reading the update on the second day of that mission, as it includes a piece about the group’s visit with my son, Lt. Colonel Gadi Dror.  [Links not available]

Being in Israel at this time was inspiring in so many ways.   The resilience of the people of Israel, the understanding that life is precious, and the determination to create and to preserve a Jewish and democratic State guided by Jewish values and vision, was truly impressive! We have good reason to be proud of our Jewish tradition and of the State of Israel.

It is with that same connection to Jewish tradition and values, with that same appreciation for the preciousness of life, and with that same determination to stand with Israel, that we, at Rodef Sholom Temple, will fill our lives with purpose and with joy as we move forward toward the new Jewish year of 5775!

This Shabbat we will recite the prayer for the new Jewish month of Elul, the month in which we prepare for the High Holidays! Rosh Chodesh Elul will be this coming Monday night, Tuesday, and Wednesday. May it be a month of peace, of joy, and of healing for all!

As I read this week’s Torah portion of Re’eh, I am reminded of the best in Israel, the best in Jewish tradition and values, and the best in Rodef Sholom Temple!

Our Torah portion speaks repeatedly of sacred opportunities for us to care for all members of our society.  It speaks of reaching out to the poor and to the needy.  It speaks of including others in our simchas. It speaks of doing what is just and right in God’s eyes, so that we may fully rejoice in our holidays, in our day to day lives, and in our special occasions.

Mutual responsibility, and caring, form the base of our pyramid of Jewish values. They provide a solid foundation for a people, and for a congregation.   They encourage us to see ourselves as “extended family” to one another.

I am grateful to be home in our warm and welcoming community.  And, I look forward to the many opportunities we will have to share our vision, to help us carry our burdens, and to celebrate our traditions, our values, our holidays, our simchas, and our special occasions, together, as extended family, in the coming weeks, months and years!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Gilah Dror