DECEMBER 14, 2018 – WEEKLY MESSAGE RABBI ARNOW
Dear Kol Rinah Family,
Shabbat is coming so I’ll make this brief. Services tonight at 6pm in the chapel, and tomorrow morning at 9am in the lower auditorium, and mincha at 3:25pm. Candle lighting is at 4:23pm, and Shabbat ends at 5:25pm.
I’ll be teaching Torah Talk at 10:10am, Junior Torah Talk is at 10:30am, and Rhythm ‘n’ Ruach is at 10:45am.
Sunday at 12:30pm, Pastor Carlos Smith of The Journey Hanley Road and I will talking about experiences together in Israel. There’ll be a light lunch too. More details here.
If you enjoyed last week’s “Jews in Space” lunch and learn, or are interested in exploring excellent Jewish fiction, email Leora Spitzer at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the mailing list for our new Kol Rinah book club! Our first book will be Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik.
Over the next few weeks, many people will be away and traveling, and making minyan can be tougher. Please come to minyan, as an important way of showing up for your fellow congregants.
And now for a little Torah… After Joseph, his fathers and brothers have all reunited and Joseph has settled them in the land of Goshen, the famine really sets in, even in Egypt, but Joseph, who has saved plenty of food, is able to support his family: “Joseph sustained his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with bread, down to the little ones” (Genesis 47:12).
Perhaps this means that Joseph fed everyone, even the babies. Or, he gave everyone proportionately what they needed, suggests Rashi. Or perhaps Joseph only gave them just enough, because, as Seforno suggests, although Joseph could have given them more, it wouldn’t have been appropriate, as the sages teach, “When the community is in trouble, let not a man say, ‘I will go to my house and I will eat and drink and all will be well with me’ (Taanit 11a).”
As the calendar year comes to a close, many of us are thinking about our annual charitable giving. As we know, Jews are obligated to give 10% of our (pre-tax!) earnings to tzedaka, to charity. And there’s something unseemly, the above teaching suggests, about consuming too much ourselves while others are in need. So, even amidst whatever abundance we may feel, let us try to remember to be as charitable and generous this December as we can be.
Shabbat shalom and see you in shul,
Rabbi Noah Arnow