to Beyond Twelve Gates. This is the year's last edition
of BTG -- as
Hashana begins the new year of 5770.
short time that BTG has been offered, it has been successful beyond all expectations.
I've been pleased to share a weekly message not only with members of my own
congregation (Nusach Hari Bnai Zion in St. Louis), but to see BTG extend to the
broader St. Louis Jewish community and beyond via websites and email. Our
regular readership includes Jews of all denominational affiliations
and educational backgrounds. I'm also pleased that a number of
non-Jewish friends have become weekly readers of BTG. Thank you for being a
part of BTG.
Torah Reading for
The two days of
Rosh Hashana fall out on Shabbos,
September 19 and Sunday September 20. The weekly cycle of Torah
readings is interrupted for a special Rosh Hashana Torah reading.
On Shabbos the Torah reading is from Genesis 21:1 -- 21:34. On
Sunday the Torah reading is from Genesis 22:1 -- 22:24.
The theme of the Shabbos
Torah reading is that G-d remembered Sarah at the age of
90. She bore a son named Isaac to her 100 year old husband Abraham.
Our tradition teaches that Sarah conceived on Rosh Hashana. Not only
do we recall Sarah and Abraham's great merit, but we should be inspired to
repent and pray just as they did.
The theme of the Sunday
Torah reading is the account of the Akeidah, the Binding
of Isaac. Both Abraham and Isaac demonstrated their willingness
to make any sacrifice to comply with G-d's will. Our tradition teaches
that the Akeida took place on Rosh Hashana. The shofar of Rosh
Hashana (this year, blown only on Sunday) is customarily made of a ram's horn
to recall the merit of the Akeida because a ram was substituted for Isaac on
like to close the year 5769 with a look at one of the most important mitzvos
(commandments) in the entire Torah: V'ahavta
l'rayecha k'mocha -- Love your friend as yourself. A curiosity
arises in considering how to observe this mitzvah. We can
understand a command to not eat certain foods, to observe the
Sabbath, and to place a mezuzah on our doorpost. However, how can we be
commanded to love another person? How can feeling an
emotion be mandated? Isn't love something that either happens, or doesn't?
was once the wealthiest man in America. A fabulously successful steel manufacturer,
Carnegie at one time employed as many as 43 millionaires. Conservatively
speaking, a million dollars in his day would be equivalent to 25 million
dollars today. A reporter once asked Carnegie, "How did you develop
these men to become so valuable to you that you have paid them this much
replied that men are developed the same way that gold is mined. When gold
is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold; but one
doesn't go into the mine looking for dirt -- one goes in looking
exactly the way we can develop feelings of love
toward others. Don't look for the flaws, warts and blemishes.
Look for the gold, not the dirt; the good, not the bad.
The more good qualities we look for in others,
the more good qualities we are going to find. And when we associate a
person with their good qualities and virtues ....feelings of fondness and love
Quote of the Week
There are a thousand hacking
at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root -- Henry David Thoreau
Joke of the Week
A small town had two
churches, Presbyterian and Methodist, and a Synagogue. All three had a serious
problem with squirrels in their building. Each had it's own way to deal with
The Presbyterians decided
that it was predestined that squirrels be in the church and that they would
just have to live with them.
The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels lovingly in the
style of Charles Wesley.
They humanely trapped them and released them in a park at the edge of town.
Within 3 days, they were all back in the church.
The Jews simply voted the squirrels in as members. Now they only see them at
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur
Thanks for reading 'Beyond
Twelve Gates'. Comments, questions, requests to be added to our email
list or better jokes can be sent to Pepshort613@sbcglobal.net or firstname.lastname@example.org Care
to know more about Nusach Hari Bnai Zion Congregation? Check us out at www.nhbz.org
If you enjoyed Beyond Twelve Gates, please share with a friend. Thanks to Alan
Haber for his assistance in distributing BTG