On the 9th of Av we also read the book of Lamentations, that terribly poignant description of the destruction of the First Temple written by Jeremiah, an eye-witness to the events he describes.
Numbers 27:12-23: “And G-d said to Moses, Go up to this Mt. Avarim and see the land that I have given to the Children of Israel.” So begins a moving dialogue between G-d and Moses towards the end of Moses’ life.
The story of Balaam and his desire to curse the children of Israel is a fabulous one. At the request of Balak, King of Moab, he tries to curse Israel, but at each opportunity, G-d prevents him from doing so. Finally, without a choice, he blesses the nation of Israel in some of the most beautiful verses in the Bible.
The thrust of the chapter is the expectation of holiness in our dealings with our fellow man. For it is through our relationships with our fellow human beings, through acts of compassion and charity, that we can indeed become holy
G-d does not treat gossip lightly. As men and women, created in His image, we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves and to treat everyone with respect. This includes not maligning them, even in a light, gossipy way.
The first verse in chapter 40 provides us with the date that the Tabernacle was completed — the first day of the first month, or the first of Nissan. Nissan is the month which begins the Biblical count of months and it falls at this time of year. It is also known as the month of the spring (Deuteronomy 16:1). It is not the month of Rosh HaShana
This week’s portion begins the story of Joseph, beginning with Genesis chapter 37. We learn that Jacob favors Joseph and buys him a striped coat, which results in the brothers’ terrible jealousy of him.
November 2, 2020by Sondra Baras I am often asked about the origins of CFOIC Heartland. People are particularly intrigued at the thought of an Orthodox Jew heading up an organization called Christian Friends of Israeli Communities. I always respond that the idea was a Christian one but I launched the organization’s Israel office and turned … Read more
October 6, 2020by Sondra Baras My father passed away three weeks ago. He was 94 years old and during his final months, he had sunk into the depths of dementia and no longer recognized me. It had been many months since I had been able to have even the most rudimentary conversation with him. In a … Read more
Even though summer weather continues in Israel until well into October, as August draws to a close and September begins, we mark the end of summer. Probably because school begins on the 1st of September. So last night, a few friends of mine got together to mark the end of summer by going out to the beach in Herzliya. We were five middle-aged women, at the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, sitting on blankets or beach chairs, chatting. We watched and listened to the waves crashing onto the shore, we got our feet wet in the water, and we breathed the fresh sea air.