Shabbat to Shabbat

September 16, 2022 - 20 Elul, 5782

Is there anything that you do with all your heart and soul? Perhaps you live your life with fiery passion, tireless dedication, throwing yourself into your relationships, your work, your golf game… But ALL your heart and soul? Is that even possible? So when this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, exhorts us to observe the laws “faithfully with all your heart and soul,” how seriously do we even take the commandment? Especially since there are more than a few laws in the fine print, and it might be difficult to observe every last one of them with total enthusiasm? Before answering this question, let’s take a look at that fine print, and see what exactly it is asking of us:


Rejoice and be thankful: The very first commandment in this parsha calls on us to bring some of our first fruits to the priest and acknowledge that God has kept God’s promises. “As soon as you have crossed the Jordan,” says Moses, “[…] build an altar […], rejoicing before your God.”


Unpack your privilege: We are then asked to enjoy our bounty with the “Levite and the stranger in [our] midst,” to share the food with the widows and those less fortunate. It’s as if the Torah is asking, “What good is success if we horde it all for ourselves?” Acknowledging that we do not deserve blessings any more than anyone else is a basic tenet of unpacking our privilege and humbly living out the golden rule. Shout out to the Torah for being woke, even by today’s standards!


Don’t be a jerk: Finally, we are commanded not to insult our parents, move property markers, commit incest, kill, or accept bribes.


On an intellectual level, most of these commandments seem logical, even very much in line with 21st century wellness and self-care trends. But rather than glossing over a list of commandments that seems fairly anodyne, maybe we could try looking at it like this:


Be grateful and enjoy the good times, with all your heart and soul.

Care for others, with all your heart and soul.

Show humility, with all your heart and soul.

Be a mensch, with all your heart and soul.


Shabbat Shalom, with all my heart and soul.

Rebecca Abbate

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High Holidays Schedule

More information to follow soon

Saturday, September 17 @ 7pm

Join us at Congregation Mishkan Israel as we prepare for the High Holy Day Season of personal reflection on the Saturday night before Rosh HashanahOur guest speaker, Rev. Jake Joseph, associate director of the CT ADL, will speak about rising antisemitism and the importance of forgiveness in forging partnerships to eradicate hate. Rabbi Immerman, Rabbi Brockman and Cantor Giglio will lead the service with the other community rabbis. 7 pm for the discussion followed by Selichot Services, September 17, 2022.

There will be live-stream on the CMI website.


Students from area religious schools designed “Welcoming The Stranger” greeting cards. Beautifully printed by the Jewish Federation, the 8 cards are now available for purchase for $25.00 a set. Three or more sets are available for $20.00 per set. A limited number of individual cards are available for sale at $8 per card, $15/2 cards, and $20/3cards. 

Proceeds from the sale of these cards directly benefit JCARR and will be used to meet the needs of refugees that JCARR IS resettling in the Greater New Haven area.

To purchase cards, please contact Cindi Williams by email at or call or text 203-376-6361.

High Holy Day Books

Temple Beth David uses Mishkan HaNefesh: Machzor for the Days of Awe for High Holy Day services. The temple does have extra copies but if you would like to purchase your own set, please order from Amazon using this link. Please remember to sign in to Amazon Smile and set Temple Beth David as your charity so the temple will receive a portion of your purchase cost. 

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