The Sabbath reminds us that G-d created the world and we are commanded to rest one day each week, to stop our activities of work and creation and devote ourselves to spiritual pursuits. The land does the same in the seventh year and reverts to its original owner in the 50th year, after seven Sabbatical cycles.
The Torah portion is uplifting as well. For in this week’s portion, we read the Ten Commandments, as repeated by Moses in Deuteronomy. For this section of the Torah reading the entire congregation stands, as if to relive that incredible experience at Mt. Sinaiso many centuries ago.
The Ten Commandments are often touted as the single most important part of the Bible, the ten most important declarations that G-d ever made to humanity.
It’s the Fifth out of Ten Commandments. In Judaism, honoring one’s father and mother is a vital mitzvah (commandment) that recognizes the synthesis of God’s power to give life with the physical beings who help carry out that miracle of creation. More simply, it holds the key to the age-old success of the family unit. When children show honor towards their fathers and mothers, parents can be more effective caregivers, and children learn healthy guidance and how to follow rules.
This week we celebrated Shavuot, my personal favorite holiday of the Jewish year. While the Bible references this holiday as the Festival of First Fruits, on this holiday we also commemorate receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. In fact, since our exile from the Land of Israel nearly 2,000 years ago and our separation from the Biblical harvests, this aspect of the holiday has become its central theme.
I told myself I would start my diet after the Shavuot holiday, but it’s taken a week to finish the last few leftover pieces of cheesy lasagna and rich noodle pudding. And just last night, I took a spoon and scraped out the last few creamy crumbs of our Shavuot cheesecake from the pan in … Read more