A Message from Our Rabbi
October 21, 2020

This is the line of Noah. Noah was a righteous man. He was blameless in his generation. The earth became corrupt before God and the earth was filled with lawlessness. When God saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its ways on earth, God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with lawlessness because of them – I am about to destroy them with the earth.

The beginning of this portion has always struck me. The earth was filled with lawlessness and it was so bad, God felt, that God decided to destroy the earth. 

We know the ending – God flooded the earth but determined, afterwards, to never do it again, and many of the floodwaters we encounter today – both real and proverbial, are not of God’s doing, but of our own.

What is this “lawlessness” that has God so upset? Is Noah as righteous as the text makes him out to be? And how can we see this story as so much more than a simple children’s story about Noah caring for the animals, and begin to see more clearly the lessons it lays out for each of us as to how we should live our lives in the world today? 

Friday evening, our Kabbalat Shabbat/Shabbat Mishpacha (Family Shabbat) Service begins at 6:30 pm, and will include a short Torah service, special songs, our October birthday blessing, and our annual Blessing of the Pets. (Zoom; click HERE for online Shabbat siddur)

While we typically do our pet blessing outside, being on Zoom will give us the opportunity to share in also being able to bless “indoor” pets who typically wouldn’t be able to be with us. Stuffed animals are more than welcome, and there will also be a chance to remember those pets who were part of our families for however long they were with us. It’ll be a fun, celebratory night of all those fuzzy, furry, hairy, and lovable animals we share our lives and homes with!

Shabbat morning, Torah Study will be led by Rabbi Address at 9:00 am, followed by our Spice Up Your Judaism session on “Jewish Fun” at 10:15 am, led by Carl Viniar. (Zoom)

Our Shabbat morning service begins at 10:30 am, during which we will celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Kieran Barasch. (Zoom; click HERE for online Shabbat siddur)


Rabbi Jennifer L. Frenkel