Ha’azinu 5776–Shabbat Torah Study at Adat Shalom–Listen Carefully!

This week’s Parasha begins with the word “Ha’azinu!” Listen! Oznayim are ears, so this literally means “Give ear!”

But to what or for what are we being implored to listen? Remember in our high holiday services we said in the U’netaneh Tokef that after the blast of the shofar, the still small voice is heard. That voice is the voice of God.

Do you recognize the voice of God? What does it sound like to you?

Is it in the sound of a baby’s laugh? Is it in the sound of a shofar or the Torah being chanted or studied? Is it on the sign of a homeless person looking for help? Is it in the voice of a rabbi or teacher? Is it in the newscaster advising of a crime or catastrophe? Was it in the voices of so many of our teens chanting from the Torah throughout the Yamim Noraim, all with the proper nusach!

Is it in a loving embrace? Is it in the fragrance of a flower or the fresh air? Is it in the outstretched hand of a new acquaintance? Is it in the smile of a stranger? Is it in the smile on your face? The question is where isn’t God’s voice? If we will only listen to our own inner voice, our own souls that truly recognize the Godly spark and spirit in everything if we will only pay true attention.

In this week’s Parasha, Moshe begs us to listen for God’s voice. The ears—the Oznayim- give direct access to the inside of us so that we can internalize God’s message.

This Sunday evening begins Sukkot too. There is a special mitzvah for Sukkot to truly rejoice. This is considered THE holiday. Try and find a way to make this one special!

This Shabbat at 9:45 a.m. Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz teaches us on the perplexing and vexing subject of “Why Is There Evil in the World: Insights from Parashat Haazinu, Babylonian Talmud Brachot and from a debate between Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Harold Shulweis and Harold Kushner.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameyach,

Paul

P.S. SYNergy returns to Adat Shalom the weekend of Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot, October 2-3, 2015 with Michael Oren, Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and current member of Knesset. Make your reservations now. He is speaking at a wonderful Shabbat dinner, on Shabbat morning as well as after services on some extremely relevant and important topics.

P.S.S. Yom Kippur gave me a renewed sense of connection with God and the wisdom of our sages built on the Torah. I hope it did for you as well.

Rabbi Bergman’s “Ask the Rabbi” session on Yom Kippur afternoon was an incredible demonstration of the joyfulness with which our heritage can be learned and appreciated. Rabbi Shere and Hazzan Gross’s healing service immediately thereafter created opportunities for personal revelation and the value of holding Torah close to you. It was so beautiful hearing so many of our teens chanting from the Torah throughout the Yamim Noraim. All with the proper nusach!

Our Ne’eilah Service was so inspirational with the time to personally approach the open Aron Kodesh, our symbol of the sha’arey rachamim—the gates of mercy. I do not have video images of the winding lines and packed sanctuary, but I will always have the mental image and I hope you have it as well. If not this year, then next God willing!

Chazzan Gross, there are not words to express how your davening transported the prayers of our congregation and caused them to ascend straight to Shamayim. These are just some of the examples of the spiritual connection in our Adat Shalom home.

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