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Rabbi's Blog: 3 Resumptions + Annual Super Bowl Pick!

02/10/2023 12:57:25 PM


Dear OZ family,


We all remember how we celebrated life events during Covid lockdowns. We had Covid Brisses, Covid Bat and Bar Mitzvah celebrations, and Covid weddings. In the very first stages of Covid these events took place practically in solitude, and then when restrictions were eased, we celebrated with smaller gatherings than we might otherwise have done. Very creative ways were found to have outdoor minyanim, open Sukkot, safe Shofar blowing, and more. As vaccines became available, these events opened up to a greater extent, and life slowly returned to some semblance of normal. A number of changes took place in many shuls that have remained and some are still waiting to resume.  


This Shabbos we will resume 3 parts of shul activity for the first time in almost 3 years. First, we will make Kiddush in shul tonight, and children will be able to have grape juice poured for them again. Second, we will again circle the full shul with the Torah on its way back to the Aron Hakodesh, and third, we will again distribute Besamim at Havdalah, and sing while this is done. The three life events referenced above all connect to Mattan Torah that we will read about in tomorrow’s Parsha. Next week’s Parsha refers to this event as an acceptance of a covenant, and that connects to the Bris. The commandments we received connect to becoming B’nei Mitzvah, and Mattan Torah itself is likened unto a wedding, with Har Sinai as our Chuppah, and the Torah as our Kesuvah.


The three resumptions above also connect to these 3 events. Friday night Kiddush connects to children, who partake of the grape juice. Besamim connects to B’nei Mitzvah, as the smelling of the Besamim is the first Mitzvah of the new week, in which we partake, and circling the shul with the Torah is reminiscent of the Kallah encircling her Chosson under the Chuppah. I wish everyone a blessed, tranquil and serene Shabbos.


Our sages say that everything is somehow hinted in the Torah. That means that with enough ingenuity, we can find any idea, message, or even prediction form the Torah. It just so happens that this week’s Torah reading, Parshas Yisro, mentions eagles

(Shemos 19:4) as well as chiefs (18:21). As such, since this is the Parsha of the Decalogue, and the reference to chiefs precede the reference to eagles by 10 verses, although I am inclined to favor the Eagles in deference to Jerry Litwin, I choose the Chiefs to win by 10 this Sunday over the Eagles.    


Stay well and healthy.

Rabbi Allen Schwartz


Rabbi Allen Schwartz

Congregation Ohab Zedek

118 West 95th Street | New York, NY  10025-6604

Phone 212.749-5150, ext 200 | Fax 212.663-3635




Sat, May 25 2024 17 Iyyar 5784