Parashat Devarim

July 28, 2017
5 Av 5777

Candle lighting: 7:30 p.m.

Dear Friends:

This Monday evening, we will be commemorating the fast of Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av. It is considered a national day of mourning. According to tradition, the 9th of Av is not only the date in which both temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, but the date in which several tragic and destructive incidents have befallen the Jewish people throughout Jewish history.

Coincidentally, we read about one of those tragic incidents that took place on the 9th of Av in this week's Torah portion, Parashat Devarim.  In our parashah, Moses begins to recount the travels of the Israelites as they have been wandering through the desert. In doing so, Moses highlights the incident in which the spies were sent out ahead of the Israelites to scout the land, and returned with a discouraging report, sending the Israelites into panic, demonstrating their lack of faith in each other, and God. It was this report, and the lack of faith on behalf of the Israelites, which served as the catalysts for God's punishment, of wandering in the desert for 40 years. According the the Talmud ( Masechet Taanit) the spies returned and delivered their report, on the 9th of Av.

That is why next week on the calendar, we will be welcoming Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat of comfort. Each and every Shabbat between now and the High Holy Days, we will be reading a special
Haftarah of comfort and consolation. By coming together, being there for one another during these special Shabbatot of comfort and consolation, the Rabbis are trying to help us retain and strengthen our faith in each other, and God.

Life is filled with challenges, which often test our faith. In difficult times, it can be hard to have faith. Nevertheless, the challenging moments in our lives are the items in our life, where faith can matter most, and make the biggest difference. Which is why it is my hope and prayer for all of us, that when we experience difficult and challenging moments, we can be a source of support and comfort, helping renew one another's faith in humanity, in each other, and in G-d.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Joshua Dorsch 
Pro-neg: 5:30 p.m.
Pray at the Park: 6:15 p.m. 
Shabbat Morning Services: 9:30 a.m. 
Marisa Nowicki becomes a Bat Mitzvah
Havdalah: 8:30 p.m.

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