Ritual Wisdom 9-3-21
This Shabbat, September 3, 2021 is the last Shabbat of the year, 5781. Monday night we will celebrate Rosh Hashana. Being the last Shabbat of the year, we read Torah reading Nitzavim.
In Torah reading Nitzavim Moshe speaks to the Jewish people, on the last day of his life. Those are his parting words to his people.
Moshe encourages them to observe the Torah and Mitzvot. He says, “For these Mitzvot which I command you this day, are not concealed from you, nor are they far away. It is not in the skies, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to the skies for us and take it for us and tell it to us, so that we can keep it.’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea and fetch it for us’.. Rather, it is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart, to observe it.”
The Talmudic sage Rabbi Yanai said: “To what is this compared, To a loaf of bread which was hanging from the ceiling high up. A fool says, ‘Who can reach it to take it down.’ But a smart person says, ‘Didn’t someone hang it up there. How did he get up there? I too will make an effort. Let me bring a ladder and slowly but surely, I will get it down.”
“So too”, a fool says, ‘How can I possibly study the Torah, when there is so much to study.’ As a result, he doesn’t study anything and remains ignorant. But a wise person says, ‘I will study a little today and a little tomorrow and so on.’ And little by little he will master the Torah.
Indeed, a little bit of Torah study each day, over time, goes a very long way.
A bit of humor before Rosh Hashana: One Rosh Hashana, the rabbi of the synagogue noticed little Moshe’le staring at the large plaque hanging in the shul lobby. It was covered with names and small American flags were mounted on either side of it. The boy had been staring at the plaque for some time, when the rabbi walked over to him and said, “Shana Tova, Moshe’le.”
“Shana Tova to you too,” replied Moshe’le, still very intent on the plaque.
Then he turns to the rabbi and says, “Rabbi, what is this?”
“Well, it’s a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.”
Soberly, they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Then little Moshe’le turned to the rabbi and asked, “Rabbi, which service, Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur?”
SHANA TOVA – A HAPPY, HEALTHY & SWEET NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES. A YEAR OF PEACE & NACHAS. MAY ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND REQUESTS BE FULFILLED TO THEIR FULLEST. AMEN