February 18, 2017
It is the mission of Congregation Agudath Sholom Youth Department to provide innovative religious and recreational activities for babies through senior teens, which infuse core Torah values and a general menschlichkeit into the daily lives of our youth.
In the Pesach Haggadah it states, "Had He (God) brought us before Har Sinai, but not given us the Torah, it would have been sufficient." These words are difficult to understand, for what would simply arriving at Har Sinai accomplish if it would not have resulted in our receiving the Torah?
Rashi points out that the word "vayichan" is in the singular, despite the fact that the Torah was describing the encampment of millions of Jews. Rashi explains that at this particular encampment the Jewish people were united - "as one man, with one heart." Upon arriving in the desert of Sinai, they put an end to all quarreling, cleansing their hearts from all ill will, and they shared a deep love for one another. The unity that the Jewish people achieved would have been worthwhile even had they not received the Torah!
For Israel to rise to its highest calling, for us to reach perfection, we must act as one entity and not as a bunch of individuals. Furthermore, when people are united, God does not harm them. As we see in the story of the tower of Babel, the Torah tells us that God said, "Behold, they are one people with one language for all." Since they were united God did not destroy them. Instead, He said, "Come let us descend there and confuse their language." Because they could not understand each other, the builders of the tower began to fight, became untied, and Hashem then harmed them.
Unity comes about when one puts his personal worries to the side and concerns himself with his friend. The difference between united and untied is where you place the "I". When you place the "I" to the side and you are more concerned for your friend - unity is the result.
Age Specific Topic to Discuss at your Shabbat / Chag Tables:
1. What was the name of Yitro's daughter, Moshe's wife?
2. Why was Yitro so surprised?
3. How many of Yitro's name can you recall?*(Double nekudot question!)
4. How old was Moshe when he left Midyan?
5. How many weeks is it between Tu Beshbat and Purim and Pesach? *(Double nekudot question!!)
Please come to Rabbi Jeiger and get 2 nekudot (or 4 for the bonus question) if you can tell us about your family discussion of any of these questions or the d’var torah.
Feb 2017 – Theme of the Month: Tzedakah
Feb 18 –
If you would like to celebrate your child's birthday or special accomplishment by sponsoring a special "kiddush" or a Mishna and Hot Cocoa in their honor, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to help support the Youth Department, please visit http://youth.cas-stamford.org/giving for all of our sponsorship opportunities.
Shabbat Shalom! Rabbi Yehuda Jeiger