Tidbits of Torah

Shabbat Parashat Shelach Lekha

Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh 

Past, Present and Future!   

June 9, 2018 – 26 Sivan 5778 


Dear Friends,


Tidbits of Torah is back!  We are in the new building of Rodef Sholom Temple…almost set up…still working on getting re-organized…still working on completing various parts of our Temple…still in awe of the marvelous Dedication Weekend we enjoyed together!

We look back and appreciate the gifts of those who came before us and of those who are contributing to the life of our shul and community day in and day out.  We take stock of where we are today.  And we look forward to the future with the knowledge that where we go as a congregation from now on is really up to each and every one of us.

Sadly, we have already had the first funeral in our new Temple.  Joyously, we look forward to the first bar mitzvah in our new Temple which is set for just a week from now.  We are clearly on the threshold of something new as we journey forward, as a congregation, in our new Temple.

There is a wonderful Torah teaching in our Parsha that gives us insight into moments in which we stand at the threshold of something new.

We are taught that, of the twelve scouts that were sent to “preview” the Promised Land, only Caleb son of Yephuneh took the time to visit Hebron and the Cave of Machpelah.  The Cave of Machpelah was where the majority of our patriarchs and matriarchs were buried.  It is a holy site to this day.

It was that visit that gave Caleb the courage to stand up, alongside Joshua, and speak out against the majority of the scouts, proclaiming his belief that the children of Israel would do well to follow God directly into the Promised Land.   And, it was that courage that earned him the privilege of entering the Promised Land 40 years later, along with the newer generations of Israelites.

Caleb went to Machpelah and contemplated his past.  From that visit, he garnered courage, strength and inspiration.   Thanks to his unique way of “processing” his special visit to his past, he was able to respond nobly in real time in a most challenging situation.  And, his response, earned him great blessing later in his life.

This teaching can be especially moving as we stand on the threshold of something new. And, we can apply this teaching every day in our prayers as we continue to move into our new Temple.

How so?

Each time we recite the Amidah, we begin by referring to our God, and the God of our ancestors.  If we allow ourselves to savor the moment, reciting the beginning of  the Amidah can be, for us, like a mini-visit to Mashpelah.  It can be a moment in which we reflect on our past.  It can be a moment which inspires us in our present, as Caleb was inspired in his present.  And, it may be a moment that foreshadows great blessing in our future, as well!

Especially as we stand on the threshold of something new, we become keenly aware that past, present and future are tied together by invisible lines of connection. May they all be for a blessing.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror

P.S. This Shabbat we recite the blessing for the new Jewish month of Tammuz.  Rosh Chodesh Tammuz will be on Tuesday night, Wednesday and Thursday of this coming week.  May it be a month of blessing and of joy!