05 Nov Lights by the Sea
Please join us Sunday December 5th at the Tideline Resort for our Beachfront Hanukkah celebration!
4:30 Beach fun with friends
5:30 Dreidel, latkes, and crafts
6:00 Tiki Torch Beach Menorah Lighting
Adults $18pp, kids $10; sponsorships invited.
Thanks so much to the Greene family for generously offering the space.
Torah Portion: Trick or…
Sunday night, many of us had cute children show up at our door and yell “trick or treat!” Fortunately, for the most part there is no trick involved, only kids, costumes, and candy. Tricks are fun for the person doing them, but often not so for the recipient.
In the Torah, Jacob tricks his father into thinking he is Esau. The Torah doesn’t weigh in explicitly on this, but later on Jacob himself is tricked by Lavan, and also suffers when he is tricked by his own children into thinking Joseph is dead. Joseph, in turn, suffers at the hands of his brothers until the cycle of tricks and resentment finally comes to a close later in Genesis. Far from approving this behavior, the Torah clearly shows us that tricking only leads to discord and suffering.
One other act by Jacob seems morally suspect. His brother Esau comes in from the field and says “pour me some of that red stuff, I’m tired.” Jacob agrees to give him some if he sells his birthright. Esau says “what do I care, I’m about to die.”
On the one hand, Jacob comes off as manipulative: he knows his brother is famished and takes advantage of the situation.
On the other hand, this clearly demonstrates Esau’s exclusive focus on immediate gratification, on his physical senses. According to Rashi, the “red stuff” was the mourning meal for Abraham, who had died earlier that day. Esau saw it as nothing but grub. He could not see the significance, the depth, of anything in the physical world. He was entirely focused on physical gratification.
Judaism calls us to see the depth of all of our actions. Our actions can be instruments for kedusha, for holiness. We can hear God whispering to us, as well, through the physical world, through nature, friends and family, and everything that happens to us. There is a depth to everything. This is what Jacob, unlike Esau, could see. Judaism calls to focus not merely on physical gratification, but to use every moment in our life as meaningfully as we can,
Shabbat with all your heart
Please join us for our Saturday morning family-friendly musical service & Torah discussion, childrens’ service, and kiddush lunch:
December 18th–Bat Mitzvah of Hannah Siff