From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur” p.516
FOR OUR COUNTRY
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/chayei-sarah
Chayei Sarah [חַיֵּי שָׂרָה – The Life of Sarah] – Genesis 23:1−25:18
Sarah lived to be 127 years old–such was the span of Sarah’s life. – Genesis 23:1
- Abraham purchases the cave of Machpelah in order to bury his wife Sarah. (23:1-20)
- Abraham sends his servant to find a bride for Isaac. (24:1-9)
- Rebekah shows her kindness by offering to draw water for the servant’s camels at the well. (24:15-20)
- The servant meets Rebekah’s family and then takes Rebekah to Isaac, who marries her. (24:23-67)
- Abraham takes another wife, named Keturah. At the age of one hundred and seventy-five years, Abraham dies, and Isaac and Ishmael bury him in the cave of Machpelah. (25:1-11)
I Kings 1:1-31
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH
From My Jewish Learning.com https://www.myjewishlearning.com/torah-portions/parashat-chayei-sara/
In this Torah portion, Sara dies at the age of 127. Abraham searches for a place to bury her and settles on Machpelah…. Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac. The servant meets Rebecca at a well, where she provides water for him and his camels. Abraham marries Keturah and has six more sons. He then dies at the age of 175.
Like the Torah portion, the haftarah [I Kings 1:1-31] is concerned with succession, both on a personal level and on a national one. By seizing power and attempting to take over the kingdom for his own purposes, Adonijah showed himself to be an unfit candidate to be king. Like Isaac, Solomon received his father’s birthright despite not being the oldest son. And, just like Isaac, Solomon inherited a destiny that was only beginning to take shape. Before David took his post, Israel had only had one other king. The duties of a king and the path of a young nation, still without a Temple, were still being determined.
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chayei_Sarah
Chayë Sarah – Gen. 24:10-52 – triennial part
(חַיֵּי שָׂרָה — Hebrew for “life of Sarah”)
[The triennial part of Chayë Sarah – Gen. 24:10-52 tells of Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, seeking a wife for Isaac.] The story of Abraham’s servant’s mission to get a wife for Isaac is told twice, once by the narrator in Genesis 24:1–27, and then a second time by Abraham’s servant in Genesis 24:34–48. Isaac Abrabanel [1437-1508, Portuguese Jewish statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier,] and other commentators noted a number of differences between the two recountings.
Abraham’s servant’s meeting (on behalf of Isaac) of Rebekah at the well in Genesis 24:11–27 is the Torah’s first of several meetings at watering holes that lead to marriage. Also of the same type scene are the meeting of Jacob and Rachel at the well in Genesis 29:1–12 and the meeting of Moses and Zipporah at the well in Exodus 2:15–21. Each involves (1) a trip to a distant land, (2) a stop at a well, (3) a young woman coming to the well to draw water, (4) a heroic drawing of water, (5) the young woman going home to report to her family, (6) the visiting man brought to the family, and (7) a subsequent marriage.
We are in a period of transition and transformation. The last few portions and those of the coming weeks hold lessons that apply to our current social, medical and political situations. One such lesson from this week’s complete parshah is that of harmony and cooperation as shown in Isaac and Ishmael together burying their father Abraham.
The outcome of the recent presidential election can be compared to Abraham directing his servant Eliezer to return to Abraham’s native land and father’s house to find a wife for Isaac. The projected president-elect represents a time in the United States when cooperation and compromise still benefited most. We have seen the devastating results of division and demonization. Sometimes we need to go back to where we came from in order to move forward.
In the days and months ahead, regardless of our political, social and religious beliefs, it is important to remember that we have much in common. We all desire fairness, dignity and respect. Acknowledging each other’s point of view and how they reflect our common desires, leads to de-escalating tensions and fostering harmony and cooperation. [Cf “How to approach a post-election dialogue with the other side” by Frank Figliuzzi]
ROSH CHODESH KISLEV
Begins at sundown on Monday, November 16, 2020 and ends at nightfall on Tuesday, 17 November 2020. Kislev is the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar and the third of the civil calendar. Chanukah starts the evening of Thursday, December 10, 2020 with the lighting of the first candle and ends eight days later on Friday, December 18, 2020.
From “Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur”:
’ROSH CHODESH – FOR THE NEW MONTH p.519
Our God and God of our ancestors, may the new month bring us goodness and blessing. May we have long life, peace, prosperity, a life exalted by love of Torah and reverence for the divine; a life in which the longings of our hearts are fulfilled for good.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of brutality, abuse, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, violence, and war; for all those at home alone; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, disease, natural disasters, war and violence. We remember, too, those victims of the Shoah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year and have us to say “Kaddish” for them. “Zichronam liv’rachah” – May their memories be for blessing.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this evening, Friday, November 13, 2020. There are almost seven weeks left in 2020.
Zoom continues updating its security and performance features. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this evening:
Topic: Torah Study – Chayë Sarah (triennial part) Gen 24:10-52
Time: Nov 13, 2020 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Nov 13, 2020 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shazoom click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Being a part of, contributing to and connecting with Temple Kol Hamidbar helps us fulfill our three-fold purpose as a Beit Tefillah (House of Prayer), a Beit Midrash (House of Study) and a Beit Knesset (House of Community) – even virtually.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat!