Shabbat Parashat Ekev Consequences

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us for services this weekend, both on Friday night and on Shabbat morning, when we will celebrate Shabbat and the bar mitzvah of Brad Rubenstein! Mazal Tov to Brad and to his entire family!

It is amazing how deeply the weekly Torah portion seems to touch our very existence, even as our circumstances change from year to year!

This week’s Torah portion, Ekev, captures a great truth that we would sometimes rather ignore. Keep in mind that the meaning of the Hebrew word “Ekev” is: “as a consequence…”. Our Torah portion, Ekev, teaches us that, whether we know it or not, all of our actions have consequences.

There is a Jewish mystical teaching that says that in each and every action that we take, we create a world. If our action is good, we create a good world. If our action is not good, we create a world that is not good. And each of these worlds that we create, as a consequence of our actions, is seen and felt by God and by others around us. Some mystics even say that in the afterlife, we inhabit all the worlds that we have created as a consequence of our actions.

No matter what we choose to do, whether it is to opt in or to opt out of participation, our action has meaning.

This weekend we will celebrate Shabbat, and also the choice Brad Rubenstein and his family have made, to opt into the rich tradition of having a bar mitzvah at Rodef Sholom Temple. I hope you will choose to opt into the equally significant tradition of supporting the bar mitzvah and his family by joining us at services on both Friday night and on Shabbat morning!

I look forward to seeing you all this weekend and to celebrating with Brad and with his family! And, I am sure that our presence will be especially appreciated and significant as we navigate the waters of our very first COVID-19 era bar mitzvah.

I take this opportunity to give special thanks to Roy Lasris (who headed our technology efforts), to Steve Meyerson (our Ritual Chair), to Radie Maye (our RST Temple Administrator), and to the Rubensteins, to the RST COVID-19 task force (headed by Steve Shapiro), to our President Allen Fraley and to Sarah Barnett (Brad’s tutor), and all the volunteers who have given of their time and energy to help us make this bar mitzvah a reality!

Yasher koach to all and Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror