The Akeda Foundation
"We are our brothers and sisters keepers".
Chevre Letter: “Ha'Azinu” (Segment, “Give ear”, Ye heavens, and I will speak)
Haftorah Shabbat Shuvah: (Lessons from the Prophets) :( Hosea. XIV: 2-10; Micah. VII: 18-20; Joel. II: 15-27).
Candle Lighting: 6:32 pm.
September 23, 2017
Chevre / Friends,
L’Shanah Tovah to all. As I was writing the D’rosh for last week, Nitzavim- Vayelech and this week’s Ha’Azinu, I thought to myself that the month of Elul flew by in a heartbeat with the arrival of Rosh Ha’Shanah and Tishrei this week. On our secular calendar September is on the way out along with summer as fall begins on September 22, 2017.
The college and pro football seasons have begun and the Baseball Divisional Championship Series gets under way taking the winners to the World Series. And sadly ”Hon” the mighty Orioles may not make the playoffs while my second team the Red Sox will live on to fight another day. Two years ago you may recall I called out the NFL for scheduling the opening night game between the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos on the High Holidays. Neither the teams nor the league replied .The Burlington Free Press being culturally sensitive gave the letter wonderful coverage. This year proudly there are no NFL games scheduled for Yom Kippur, September 30, 2017. However the combination of hurricane Harvey and Irma may require a schedule change, which is unknown. Should it be on Yom Kippur I will
Rabbinically but reluctantly chalk it up to an act of G-d. The College schedule has games on Yom Kippur, which are scheduled but are switching to a TBD status because of the weather.
Now here in Vermont the foliage becomes a virtual pallet of colors attracting visitors worldwide to ‘UUU and AHH’ at the leaves. Me-G-d’s beauty is wondrous but to be honest—I’m just glad there’s not a lot to rake from the trees on the Farm.
On September 24, 2017 (4Tishrei 5778) there’s the commemoration of the assassination of Gedaliah the appointed Governor of Judah by fasting from sundown to sundown 4 Tishrei.
Going back to school or playing sports some of us faced the secular of Moses’ Third Discourse. There is a review of the past and a look to the present and future coupled with expectations. Benefits were on the plus side and negatives were on the minus side because of a tainted or failed present and or future expectation.
Just as Moses gives his “Song” to the Israelites praising G-d and leadership to Joshua, metaphoric application faces all of us with a new day. Each of us is to try and make sure that past mistakes are just that ,while new personal and communal Akedas take each of us to new heights .The goal is to ensure “that G-d will never hide his/her face”.
As a Rabbi I do my best to inspire and motivate both the Jewish and Community at large knowing there may never be an opportunity to share one’s heart and soul while easing the pain and burdens plaguing others.
The past is truly prologue. For Moses in Ha'Azinu it is about cherishing our heritage and history as we move forward. L’Dor v’ Dor, generation to generation.
Perhaps just as Moses ascends Mt. Nebo to see the Promised Land, G-d metaphorically has us individually and as a community ascend to new heights because anything is possible with unconditional faith. When each of us is called upon like Abraham at “the binding of Isaac”, ‘Akeda’, each of us will be able to answer unconditionally, like Abraham at the AKEDA “Heneini”, “I am here, Here I am”. Or as James Brown sang it…. “Get On Up”... or as Robert Frost’s poem read… “I took the (road) one less traveled by .And that has made all of the difference.” May G-d seal each of us in the Book of Life.
Shabbat Shalom- A Peaceful Sabbath/A Good Week / REB’Z / R’Z STU