Monday, August 13, 2018

Elul 27 and 28, 5778

On Fridays, we give you a double portion of our Elul Thoughts so that we can all take a rest from our electronics on Shabbat. Enjoy!

Rabbi Benjamin Sharff

As the story comes from the Rabbis: One day, Honi the Circle Maker was walking on the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”

The man replied, “Seventy years.”

Honi then asked the man, “And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?”

The man answered, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.” (BT Tana’ait 23a)

But there is more to the story. It is not enough to simply plant the trees. We must also teach our children how to respect them, care for them, and nurture them. If not, the trees will not grow and bloom, and there will be no one left who knows how to plant the next generation of trees. Al achat kama v’kama, how much so when it comes to improving the world.

Rabbi Eric Linder

Did you know that Havdallah follows Yom Kippur, even if Yom Kippur is not on Shabbat?

In fact, the Havdallah liturgy is the exact same as it would be on any Saturday evening. The only difference is that we may sing the words a bit faster on Yom Kippur as our minds are turned to smells of the break fast that are coming from the social hall …

But its significance is not to be overlooked. Yom Kippur is so important and solemn that it requires a separation before we go back to normal life. This separation helps us to mark this moment in our lives, as hopefully we will look back at this moment next year and see the results of our prayers and our actions.

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