Torah Tidbits

Post 9/11 Reflections

Shabbat Parashat Ki Tavo featured-rabbi

September 12, 2014 – 18 Elul 5774

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe how quickly time goes by but this week the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone.  We remember.  We feel the pain.  We pray for better days in the future – days of peace, of comfort, of creativity, of life, and of joy.

Our Torah portion, Ki Tavo, stresses the message that even in an imperfect world, we are not to overlook the good in our lives.  Especially when we take steps forward toward a better future and especially when we prepare to enter the Promised Land, the torah tells us: “V’samachta b’chol ha-tov [rejoice in all that is good].”

This message connects with another rabbinic teaching that the world was created in the Jewish month of Elul, and that the Hebrew letter “bet” (which is the first letter of the Torah) reminds us that in looking at the world around us we should be sure to note, and to appreciate, the beracha, the blessing.

We are presently in the midst of the month of Elul.  In the spirit of the wisdom of our tradition, let us remember to rejoice in the good even as we remember the pain of 9/11 –  even as we face the challenges of today’s world.    And, may the power of that rejoicing strengthen our resolve to do whatever we can do to make this world a better place!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Gilah Dror