Shabbat Parashat Yitro Parents and Children

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us this Shabbat as we celebrate the baby naming of Midge Elizabeth, daughter of Sara Traster and David Harriss!  Mazal Tov Midge’s entire family!

We will officially give Midge her Hebrew name during the Torah service on Shabbat morning and toward the end of the service we will have a special baby naming ceremony with a celebratory cup of wine (grape juice), blessings and an Elijah’s chair!

From the time a new baby is born, that child is tended to by parents, or by their extended family, until the time that the child reaches maturity.

As it happens, this Shabbat we will be reading the weekly Torah portion of Yitro which includes the giving of the Ten Commandments.  And, right in the center of the Ten Commandments we learn of the Jewish obligation to honor your father and mother which stems from the fact that every child owes the gift of life to a father and a mother.

But, our tradition also teaches us to honor our children by teaching them!  Education is central to Jewish life.  In the Shema, we say: “V’shinantam l’va-ne-cha” – And you shall teach them (the commandments) to your children, “v’dibarta bam” – And you shall discuss them (the commandments) with your children!

In order to get the most out of our tradtion, we need to teach our children; to articulate our values, and to discuss our Torah with them, for through this on-going process of education, we convey the promise of fulfillment, the hope of redemption and the obligations of working with community toward our shared vision and goals.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Gilah Dror