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OZ Weekly - Matos Masei 5780

07/17/2020 05:10:07 PM


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Parshat Matos Masei 5780

Shabbat Chazak - Shabbat Mevorchim

Friday Night

  • 6:40pm - Plag Minyan (RSVP Required)

  • 6:52pm - Plag HaMincha

  • 8:06pm - Candle Lighting

  • 8:15pm - Zman Minyan (RSVP Required)

  • 8:24pm - Shkiah (Sunset)

  • 9:14pm - Tzeit HaKochavim (Night Fall)

Shabbat Day

  • 5:40am - Netz HaChama
  • 7:30am - Hashkama Minyan (RSVP Required)

  • 9:15am - Minyan (RSVP Required)

  • 9:21am - Latest Shema

  • 1:02pm - Chatzot

  • 8:15pm - Minyan (RSVP Required)

  • 8:24pm - Shkiah

  • 9:14pm - Havdalah / Tzeit HaKochavim

Rosh Chodesh Av

  • Tuesday Night & Wednesday
  • Ya'aleh v'Yavoh recited

Weekday Minyanim 

  • Sunday: 8:00am & 8:15pm
  • Monday - Friday: 6:00am, 7:00am & 8:00am, 6:40pm & 8:15pm

Rabbi's Blanchard's Parsha Reflection

Let's think about the power of human speech.  We can start with Numbers 30:2ff which presents laws of vows.  In traditional sources, making a "vow"  means that we take something that was permitted for our use and deliberately use language to make it forbidden for our use--- "this cake, until now I could eat it, from now on,  it is forbidden to me."  From our point of view, we alter the nature or meaning of the object. It was "neutral", we could do with it what we wanted, Now, it has become something we can not use. 

Why would we make a material object forbidden to us?  Maybe we are on a diet and want to strengthen our resolve to do without it. We speak  a vow that makes fattening foods out of bounds. Or, we want to sanctify something, give it a special holiness. We speak a vow that turns it into something that can be used solely for sacred purposes.  Perhaps, we want these particular rings to serve as a symbol of our marriage and so we "vow" that they are our wedding ring. Or, if we are less noble or more angry, we want to create a distance between ourselves and others, so we "vow" that their property is off limits to us--- so that we can never visit with them or eat a meal with them again. It was these negative kinds of vows, as well as the possibility that we might fail to keep our word, that brought Jewish tradition to discourage the making of vows. 

Speech can also be a mistake. Can we correct a " speech" mistake?  Can we, for example, correct having made a vow for the wrong reasons or a vow that has unforeseen  negative consequences? If we regret that we made the commitment, we often turn to people whose wisdom we trust. We talk it through with them, and sometimes even give them the power to "annul" our vow--  for example, we give them the power to make us feel that, since we would never have made the vow if we had known the  the damage that keeping it would bring about, we no longer required to keep that vow. 

Notice: Human speech is a social reality; we do not vow in our own private language.  This is the power of human speech: it creates personal and social realities and in doing so it can support the best in us or amplify the worst. Clearly, we need to be careful about what we "vow". Even more, we need to be careful about how we use speech to construct our world, its limits and its possibilities.  



Sun, January 17 2021 4 Shevat 5781