D’Var Torah: October 7, 2016

Dear Friends,

This week we read Parshat Vayeilech. This portion continues Moses’ farewell sermon to the Children of Israel before his death. In Deuteronomy 31:19, we read, “Therefore, write down this poem (the Torah) and teach it to the people of Israel…” The word “write” is written in the plural, rather than the singular. From this we derive the mitzvah of each of us writing our own Torah. Few of us have the skills necessary to do this, and so can participate in the writing or repair of a Torah instead (as members of both of our legacy congregations have done in recent years, and as we may have the opportunity to do again.)

As we approach Yom Kippur, I’d like to take this concept of “writing a Torah” a bit further. The High Holy Day season invites us to examine our lives and try to envision a path towards being better people. Just as we consider our relationships with one another, we can also consider our relationship to our faith, our community, and the Jewish people. Now we might think about “writing the Torah” of our Jewish year. How will we choose to connect to G-d? In what ways can we help make our synagogue a more welcoming and inviting place? How will we bring our Judaism into our homes?

Now is the time for vision. The scroll of our year unfurls before us.

L’shanah Tovah and Gamar Chatimah Tovah,

Cantor Sally Neff