Coming right after the turbulent parsha of Vayera which included the story of Sodom and Gemorrah and the Binding of Issac (Akedat Yitzhak), we arrive at this week’s Torah portion of Chayay Sarah which is made up of the ordinary business of life – taking care of funeral arrangements, finding a partner for life, healing the ruptures of our personal relationships, and, if blessed with length of life, settling into old age.
The Torah shares with us great ups and downs in the lives of our ancestors, thus reminding us that we too may have ups and downs in life. While we may never reach the extreme ups or downs of our ancestors’ lives, most of us do vaccilate between more active and more tranquil times in our lives. And, our weekly observance of Shabbat reminds us that life is constantly in flux. Each week we “work” six days, and then we make sure to spend the seventh day in a very different “mode” of living. This is the gift of Shabbat.
Through it all, we recite the morning blessings each morning, both on Shabbat and on weekdays. These morning blessings serve as reminders that no matter what we face in any particular day, there are things for which we may give thanks. It might be the small things. It might be the bigger things. But, if we look, we can always find something for which we are grateful.
This Shabbat we recite the prayer for the new Jewish month of Kislev, the month that includes the beginning of Chanukah! Rosh Chodesh Kislev vill be on Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday of this coming week. May it be a month of joy and of blessing.
Shabbat Shalom and a very happy Thanksgiving as well!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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