- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On August 14, 2020
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, our weekly reflection as we make our way towards Shabbat. You can listen to it as a podcast HERE.
This day is marked as crucial and determines every other day.
In the Torah portion for this week, the Hebrew word for this day is hayom. It appears three times, once in each of the first three verses of the portion, Re’eh. This is the Torah’s way of saying pay attention to this word. Hayom. Today. This day. Be alert.
See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Eternal your God that I enjoin upon you this day; and curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Eternal your God, but turn away from the path that I enjoin upon you this day and follow other gods, whom you have not experienced. (Deuteronomy 11: 26-28)
It is possible to understand these verses in the context of the specific moment in Biblical time. It was when Moses offered this choice to the Israelites as they were about to cross over the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. The commentator, Rashi, however, noted that when the word, hayom-this day, appears, we should read it as this day for ourselves as well.
That kind of awareness of the potential of blessing and curse of this moment we are experiencing right now transforms the present to an awakened presence. What we do, how we act, and the way we respond today to the choice of blessing and curse has greater importance and significance. The transcendentalist, Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”
This is the Torah’s way of mindful living. How we experience this moment we are living right now continues to hold blessing and curse.
In these days, we are living in right now, we have said to one another that it is hard to know what day it is. They seem to run one into the other. With these week’s Torah portion, we are reminded that we have the ability to be awakened by our own consciousness of the great potential for blessing (and curse) in each day.
The Psalmist emphasized the point. This is the day-hayom– the Eternal has made, let us rejoice and be happy in it. Every day is this day and even more so on Shabbat.
- Tonight at 6:00 p.m., we celebrate Shabbat virtually from the TI Garden, where members of the TI Clergy will lead Qabbalat Shabbat “together”, while physically distanced. We can pray together HERE on the Temple Israel website, or HERE on Zoom, or even HERE on TI’s Facebook page. You can find it all on the website www.tisrael.org/TogetherWithTI .
- Riverway Shabbat will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. Join HERE.
- The Village gathers at 5:00 p.m. for a Shabbat story and blessings HERE.
- Torah study engages everyone. We start with a short Shabbat morning service at 9:00 a.m. with Torah reading and then launch into a provocative discussion. BYOBagel! To join the conversation interactively, access HERE to Zoom. You will be amazed by how well and easy it is to participate and comment. You can also watch HERE on Temple Israel’s website or HERE on TI’s Facebook page.
- Celebrate Shabbat as a family with TGIS with Wayne Potash at 10:00 a.m. HERE.
- Mark the end of Shabbat together with Havdalah at 8:00 p.m. Join us interactively HERE on Zoom, or watch along on the website HERE, or on Facebook HERE.