14 Elul 5778 – Ki Tetzei

Over Shabbat I look forward to sharing with you various ideas surrounding the makings of and importance of our holy Torah as we prepare for our Torah dedication this Sunday. I hope to see you all there!

Here is a thought that I will be exploring over Shabbat. Let’s start to think about it.

Whenever we see the Torah, the custom is that we run over to it and give it a kiss. What do this gesture signify? That we love the Torah, that we wish to be close to it. Yet how close are we really to this precious gift?

I know many people that are happy using their grandfather’s pair of tefillin. “It’s good enough”, they tell me! Yet would these people ever be caught with their grandparents phone or clothing styles? over their dead body! Here they must have the latest technology and ensure that they are materially ‘Keeping up with the Jones”, but when it comes to spiritual matters, they seem satisfied. Why the difference?

Is the spiritual aspect of our lives, the part that strives for meaning and purpose less important than our material lives? If anything, its the reverse! When we are fulfilled spiritually, it gives meaning to our day-to-day lives. It brings purpose and joy to everything we possess. So let’s ask ourselves whether we are placing enough emphasis on the areas of our lives that are truly important!

Talking about loving Torah, it gives me great joy to share with you this picture of our class this past week that I hosted at my home on the topic: When bad things happen to good people. Over 40 people attended. Great effort!

Shabbat shalom to all and see you Sunday as we honour the Torah!

Rabbi Yossi and Chana Raizel Friedman

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