Cleaning our Slates


Repent and return

To do right we yearn

Not for things to possess

But for values egress

To our hearts and our souls

As compassion finds

A path to clarity

With such dear peace of mind…


5783

Shabbat Shalom! Do we pursue true repentance and amends? At Beit Torah we strive to do so:

Shuvah, VaYeilech 5783 Return, Atone, Amend; Dvarim 31; Hosea 14:2-10; Joel 2:15-27


At one twenty, the Sumerian lifespan,

Moshe has gotten old and needs to retire.

He did feel that he had done all that he can;

As military leader, he had no fire.

So Joshua is charged to be HaShem’s hand,

To do HaShem’s will when Folk enter the Land,

Post-softening up those to be dispossessed,

Before the People move in and Josh can rest.


All the Law teachings to be kept with the Ark

Along with his poem to the Elders read

(This is for next week's parasha sharing here...)

Such witnessed by Heaven and Earth as Holy bread fed...

All to be read at Sukkot each Shmitah year

So then all Folk could be kept out of the dark:

Women, children, men, even strangers would hear!

Although now Torah’s read throughout the year

And completed every third or - each year…


At the Tent of Meeting the transfers occurred:

Leadership to Josh; the writings by the Ark;

Predictions to Levites and to each Elder:

Moish dies; Folk stiffnecked; forewarned in song so stark,

Taught to the People that evil comes to all

If they’re idolatrous or spurn the Brit Laws…


We now encourage all to write at least part

Of a Torah during their life if they’re smart...


Haftorah - Sephardic


No sacrificial bulls but with words lament,

Offered with amends so that we can repent

Healing for us, abandoned, astray,

As green Cypress blossoms, fruitful's righteous way...


On such a path we praise HaShem for keeping

Faith with our forbears and the oaths made to them

With forgiveness, compassion for our weeping,

Loving forbearance, accepting our prayers

Of penitence... forgiven! Gracious HaShem!


“Recognize now your guilt, repent, and be healed”,

Shuva Haftorah says, so life will be sealed.

Do not let a mockery be our Nation

With no sign of HaShem by others perceived…

Atone in truth so blessings can be received...

As in Tashlich, hurl all sins into the sea!

The predicting poem, come the next week will be...

Shabbat Shalom! Do we actually understand what we are told? At Beit Torah we strive to listen with critical, rational thought and compassion:

Shabbat HaAzinu 5783; Pay Attention!; Deuteronomy 32; 2 Samuel 22


Listen! Moshe and HaShem both now proclaim:

"HaShem is perfect, upright, just with true name,

Serving out Justice 'though with children perverse,

Unworthy, crooked, spurning Elders, and worse...


Those spurned Elders could teach them their history

That only by G!d surviving came to be

Through the desert to Promised bountiful Land...


Still, offspring will forget, unfortunately,

Their origins lost chasing idolatry,

And abominations that will vex HaShem

Causing abandonment, suffering... and then

Haters take credit, say: Their god's not with them!


The remnant, HaShem will judge in kind repay

Good and Evil - revenge on those gone astray

That they will repent or be cleansed from the Land!"


To the Folk all these writings were said aloud,

By Moshe and Josh who encouraged the crowd

To observe these teachings, endure in the Land!


From Mount Nebo's peak Moshe viewed Canaan's land.

It's said: G!d told Moshe he'd die there as planned

For imperfect loyalty, faith's broken hand...


Haftorah, 2 Samuel 22

David wrote in gratitude after being saved

From calamities, enemies, and King Shaul:

"Glorious HaShem delivered me! So I raved!

When in anguish I cried out: 'Please rule

That all manner of wonders will appear to me,

To save me, bring me to Freedom so I can do

Good works with leading the humble to victory,

With the strength and the light of HaShem holding true

Before those trembling to see my G!d: enemies,

Lawless, haughty, those engaged in internal strife,

Foreign nations' offspring losing courage and life...'

HaShem deals graciously with Appointed One, Me,

With my offspring forever to be, so I see!"


in the news:

May we forgive trespasses against us and be forgiven for ours!

Gmar Chatima Tova! [some say that the gates of forgiveness do not close until after the last sins are cast away on Hoshanah Raba(10/16)!]

And Shabbat Shalom!

======================================================================

Sukkot is 10/9 eve through 10/11. Come visit, shake the lulav, eat, enjoy and be merry! Please contact to arrange - 928-227-0582.


Sukkot A.Z.: Bees, Pollens, Breeze

Ah! The fresh air, cicadas’ sounds

as we shake lulav all around.

Noon time snoozing - A pollen sneeze!

Can you embrace that quite stiff breeze?

Still hanging walls flap quietly

while cool wind gusts discourage bees…

Love the chicken, squash and peas

with wind chimes, bright stars, shadow trees…

Challah, candles, read Torah too -

A week of Nature for me and you!

(Wheeeeze...)


Moadim L'Simchah!

Another Special and Unique Sukkot, 5783


On every year when Sukkot is near

The Sukkah appears a bit different.

The curtains wander, no inch is squandered

As we fill the space for ladies and gents

With chairs, tables, Torah, food, condiments,

Prayer booklets, shawls, until sunset calls

Us to light candles, hang our ornaments...

                                                                                   Special is each year, joyous season dear

                                                                                   Of food, song, prayer, dancing 'til we're spent!


Moadim L'Simchah! Chagim ooZmanim l'Sasone!


Rabbi's update:

It has been a crazy busy season even with the luxury of zoom services, yummy meals [except when fasting], and help to get everything in order. With an aging congregation there have also been many Bikurei Cholim, visiting with the ill at home and in hospital, and working to meet their special needs attendant with aging.

Of course there were also hurricane concerns but fortunately everyone was out of the hurricane paths. So while we are enjoying an extended 'monsoon' [rainy season] and late fall making Sukkot easier, there are no predictions for the weather and no real relief for the drought. How have you all been doing?

Here's Hoping for all a Joyous, Healthy, Happy Season!

Blessings and Love, Rabbi Dr. Judi-Adele


Ushpizim below:


Rabbi's update:

It has been a crazy busy season even with the luxury of zoom services, yummy meals [except when fasting], and help to get everything in order. With an aging congregation there have also been many Bikurei Cholim, visiting with the ill at home and in hospital, and working to meet their special needs attendant with aging.

Of course there were also hurricane concerns but fortunately everyone was out of the hurricane paths. So while we are enjoying an extended 'monsoon' [rainy season] and late fall making Sukkot easier, there are no predictions for the weather and no real relief for the drought. How have you all been doing?

Here's Hoping for all a Joyous, Healthy, Happy Season!

Blessings and Love, Rabbi Dr. Judi-Adele


=========================================================

Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot 5783. 10/15

Shabbat Shalom! It is a Season of Joys, May we have Holy Day celebrations and many joyous time forever! At Beit Torah we sit in our Sukkah and welcome everyone to join us!:

Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot 5783;

Exodus 33:12-34:26, Numbers 29:17-31; Ezekiel 38:18-39:16


Moish found favor with gracious HaShem

Who presented Tablets of Law, then

Told him to destroy idolatry

To avoid temptations, clearly see,

For ten gens to Righteous G!d'll be kind

Four gens punished for those who don't mind!


Special rules for Pesach note no sacrifice leavened

Nor left all night – days of Matzah are seven;

First fruits are for HaShem at Shavuot time,

As are first born livestock promised to HaShem’s might;

In-gathering for Sukkot’s third feast at least

With proper offerings so blessings increase!


To not be like the Pagan festival rites,

Never seethe a kid in its Mom’s milk [she’ll pine] -

But follow glowing Moshe to spirits’ heights,

Although veiled unless in talk with Folk day or night!


Haftorah:


The invasion of Gog from Magog made the Land bloody,

Needing months to bury well almost all of the bodies.

When remnants will be found, proper burial is needed

So the way to purify the Land will be totally heeded...


Zot HaBracha  finishing off Dvarim on Simchat Torah


Moshe, respected Leader, Prophet of HaShem,

Extends final blessings to the Tribes near his end:


Despite very small numbers, Reuven will survive.

Judah will need support against foes to save lives.

Levi will cling to task; With vision, Laws will teach,

Writings by Moshe of the Brit for all to reach

So that all enemies will fail, to homes retreat.

Binyamin's beloved and protected by HaShem.

Yosef with bounty will, as a Leader, be blessed -

He'll zealously protect his brothers through his sons.

Zevulun on journeys will rejoice... Travel's fun!

Issachar will draw their riches from sand and sea,

With celebrating good fortune at home on high.

Gad will prosper and grow, always poised to protect

And fulfill HaShem's Judgments; Laws and words respect.

Dan will expand territories, then relocate.

Naphtali will possess south and west estates,

Bountiful throughout showing Tribe's favored state.

Most favored of all will be Asher's olive oil -

A Tribe most secure as if bolted in by gates.


To all you unworthy Folk, I now say

ONE is HaShem each and every day!

Our refuge, our support, the One who keeps us safe,

Defending us in our bountiful, promised land

So that our enemies will cringe and face defeat!


At one hundred twenty years old, Moshe had eyes

With vision undimmed [strong was his vigor still]

So that he could see most clearly all the Promised Land

From the heights of Mount Nebo where he would then stand

Before death somewhere in Moav. Despite many tries

No one could find a sign of his burial site...


For thirty days the Folk bemoaned their loss and cried.

Then protege Josh rose to lead and do G!d's will.

Never again One like Moshe would come to lead,

One who showed wonders to Pharaoh and all Folk freed...


Bereishit – In the Beginning


Six epochs of time the Creation took.

After each one, HaShem took a good look.

Deciding that all what was seen was good…

For the seventh time frame: rest as one should…


Now man who was made, in a lush garden was placed.

Eden it was called, a location we’ve not traced.

To not be lonely, a helpmate for him was made.

The only rule: No eating from the knowledge tree!


Serpent was wily, enticed the gullible maid

To eat the fruit of the forbidden tree -

So when HaShem came a looking, what was to see?

Both children had eaten the fruit and were hid

As they knew they were naked and no longer kids…

HaShem was wroth, a price was to be paid:

So the Serpent crawled on belly then on

And People were expelled from garden fronds…


As children do, their Cain and Abel fought.

Cain killed Abel, then by HaShem was caught -

Left to procreate inventive offspring

While brother Seth and other sibs did bring

Adam’s and Eve’s genealogy line…


Mixed with Nephilim, half- E. T.’s,

The population grew less and less fine.

Cruelty, hatred, bigotry was seen;

Wickedness and perversions did abound -

But Hashem viewed Noach with favor found...


Haftorah in Sephardic tradition:

Isaiah 42:5-21


Isaiah spoke before the Israelite Folk.

Sternly he told them with pride: the Creator of all

Has opened your eyes and rescued you when needed.

Creator's never shadowed by idols' pall

Whereas promised outcomes always held true to be

Ever as described. So Glory be! All should see

That Praise to G!d from all places must be repeated

By every creature in all corners of Earth;

Proclaim G!d's silent protection for all their worth,

Keeping them from evil darkness, idolatry -

Helping the deaf to listen and the blind to see,

To understand HaShem's teaching all must embrace,

Glorify, magnify, light all corners, each place!

Noach 5783 Arrogance; Bereishit 6:9-11:32; Isaiah 54:1-10 [Sephard]


Noach was quite kind, honest, and fair.

He had three sons for whom to take care.

Still in a world so lawless and vile,

‘Twas hard to be cautious all the while…


So HaShem chose to start once again

By bringing on a flood with much rain.

Yet before ‘twas done, Noach was told

A three deck ark to build with roof hatch

For Folk and critters and food to hold,

Including family and his catch

Of two couples each impure critter,

Of seven couples of those ones pure,

And food enough to feed all aboard…


Then seven days later came rain tour

Continuous for forty long days…

For one hundred fifty full days more

Only water afar could be seen.

Then for forty days water recedes

Until Noach sent out a raven

That ate carrion but then came back

As did the dove sent also to look

For a place to roost along her track…

Seven more days once more dove sent out,

Returned with an olive leaf sprout!

Seven days more, dove sent out again

Not to return as rest spot was gained.


Fifty-six days more, all left the ark.

Noach built a sacrifice altar

In gratitude to HaShem and Hark!

HaShem promised him “never again”

With a covenant of no blood to eat,

No murder allowed, a Rainbow Brit!


Noach was farming vineyards and land.

In drunken sleep naked found by Ham.

His youngest son was rebuked quite hard…

Yet all in re-population starred

To spread to islands, lands and cities,

Mountains, nomads, beaches, folks of seas…


With all one language, arrogance came,

So they thought to build high to their fame

A tower on which would rest their name.

If left to succeed then thought HaShem:

Any goal they would have, they could do…

HaShem with others made speech garbled,

[Why?] Communications confounded…

The tower fell amidst the babble,

The dispersion of Folk compounded...


Shem’s line led to Nachor, then Tarach,

Dad of Avram, Haran, and Nachor.

In Ur they lived until Haran died

[In the Elamite invading war?].

So Tarach took Avram, Sarai, and Lot

Away West to Chauran where they stopped

Although en route to a Canaan spot.

Lot, son of Haran, was as a son

Won to “an exalted Dad”, Avram…

Together they’ll flee moon worship lands

For trips to Egypt and Canaan sands…

============================

my favorite:

Noach’s Journey

Afloat on a boat on waves unending -

How do forty days adrift passing feel?

A galley so large for to feed the crew

and varied critters to protect their weal…

Wind howling, G-d scowling with barf bags near…

Was there faith with trust – or perhaps just fear?


I think I would prefer a space ark rather than the sea

With cryogenic chambers of the critters yet to be.

Concentrated food and drink packs to feed those not asleep

As we all wait out the storms for the waters to recede…

====================

Isaiah told Israel to have trust,

That her numbers would grow to be greater

Than the nations yet to be dispossessed,

To be over-run by her then later,

Without embarrassment for her as loved

By HaShem who promised her no rebuke,

No more Mabuls – rather everlasting

Loyalty and friendship – Not just a fluke!


Shabbat Shalom! Can we avoid another mabul given our abuses of this planet? At Beit Torah we will discuss if and how we can do just that:

Noach 5783 Arrogance; Bereishit 6:9-11:32; Isaiah 54:1-10 [Sephard]


Noach was quite kind, honest, and fair.

He had three sons for whom to take care,

Each son with a wife, plus Noach's wife,

Totalled eight souls to protect in life.

Still in a world so lawless and vile,

‘Twas hard to be cautious all the while…


So HaShem chose to start once again

By bringing on a flood with much rain.

Yet before ‘twas done, Noach was told

A three deck ark to build with roof hatch

For Folk and critters and food to hold,

Including family and his catch

Of two couples each impure critter,

Of seven couples of those ones pure,

And food enough to feed all aboard…


Then seven days later came rain tour

Continuous for forty long days…

For one hundred fifty full days more

Only water afar could be seen.

Then for forty days water recedes

Until Noach sent out a raven

That ate carrion but then came back

As did the dove sent also to look

For a place to roost along her track…

Seven more days once more dove sent out,

Returned with an olive leaf sprout!

Seven days more, dove sent out again

Not to return as rest spot was gained.


Fifty-six days more, all left the ark.

Six hundred years old, no falter,

Noach built a sacrifice altar

In gratitude to HaShem and Hark!

HaShem promised him “never again”

With a covenant of no blood to eat,

No murder allowed, a Rainbow Brit!


Noach was farming vineyards and land.

In drunken sleep naked found by Ham.

His youngest son was rebuked quite hard…

Yet all in re-population starred

Ham [Canaan's, Sodom's, Gomorrah's Dad];

Japheth [Magog]; Cush [Nimrod, and more]

[Many more offspring whose names were bad

Or forgotten or lost evermore...]

Folk spread to islands, lands and cities,

Mountains, nomads, beaches, and high seas…


With all one language, arrogance came,

So they thought to build high to their fame

A tower on which would rest their name.

If left to succeed then thought HaShem:

Any goal they would have, they could do…

HaShem with others made speech garbled,

[Why?] Communications confounded…

The tower fell amidst the babble,

The dispersion of Folk compounded...


Shem’s line led to Nachor, then Terach,

Dad of Avram, Haran, and Nachor.

In Ur they lived until Haran died

[In the Elamite invading war?].

So Terach took Avram, Sarai, and Lot

Away West to Chauran where they stopped

Although en route to a Canaan spot.

Lot, son of Haran, was as a son

Won to “an exalted Dad”, Avram…

Together they’ll flee moon worship lands

For trips to Egypt and Canaan sands…


my favorite:

Noach’s Journey


Afloat on a boat on waves unending -

How do forty days adrift passing feel?

A galley so large for to feed the crew

and varied critters to protect their weal…

Wind howling, G-d scowling with barf bags near…

Was there faith with trust – or perhaps just fear?


I think I would prefer a space ark rather than the sea

With cryogenic chambers of the critters yet to be.

Concentrated food and drink packs to feed those not asleep

As we all wait out the storms for the waters to recede…


Haftorah:


Isaiah saw Yisrael as barren

Yet with a promise for numbers to show,

Hence needing a larger tent for cover

Richly adorned with no disgrace to know:

Materialism instead of Mitzvot

Will cause the Nation to fail and not grow.


Isaiah told Yisrael to have trust,

That her numbers would grow to be greater

Than the nations yet to be dispossessed,

To be over-run by her then later,

Without embarrassment for her as loved

By HaShem who promised her no rebuke,

No more Mabuls – rather everlasting

Loyalty and friendship – Not just a fluke!


Lech Lecha 5783 Wing and a Prayer; Bereishit 12:1-17:27; Isaiah 40:27-41:16


As was the intent of Terach to go to Canaan,

So now Avram, Sarai, and Lot decide to move on

At seventy-five years old, Avram with stealth,

With strong encouragement from HaShem and gathered wealth.

With HaShem’s promise of much offspring to take the Land,

They travelled bit by bit in Canaan, Negba south,

With famine following as they travelled on the sand

Until they had no choice but to go to Egypt’s house…


Now Sarai was of such beauty, she knew she had to plot

A way to save Avram from Pharaoh’s lust, ever hot.

So with both together, a sister ploy plan was got!

Yet with Sarai in harem, Pharaoh’s household, the lot,

Made ill… Per commenters, Lot revealed Sarai as wife!

So Pharaoh banished them with extra wealth and no strife…


The Negev was too crowded for both Avram’s and Lot’s

Considerable collected servants, wealth, and flocks.

So Lot: east to Zoar; Avram in Canaan did stay,

Praising HaShem in Hevron at an altar he prayed…

Being blessed again with many offspring, Promised Land

To be their forever home, by their numbers made grand.


Around where Lot settled there were five Kings in control.

Four other Kings invaded. All people and wealth they stole.

An escapee told Avram who with men rescued all,

Including Lot and his possessions, but took no gain…

Avram only asked that his men get their full booty share….

The Salem king blessed Avram for his courage and name -

HaShem blessed Avram with Land and offspring once again,

But warned of their long servitude in a foreign fare…


Sarai had no child. Hagar, her surrogate became.

Sarai was harsh with uppity Hagar who then fled

To be returned after promised her son’s future fame:

Ishmael, Father of twelve nations, the Holy said.


Avram with Sarai promised: parent many nations

If the covenant of circumcision they maintained,

To be parents of twelve Chieftains with Land to be claimed.

Hence Avram circumcised all his household, self, and son

So that male offspring with Sarai could still be won

Even though Avraham's ninety-nine - Sarah just laughed.

Yitzchak would be their son's name. He'ld follow their craft.

So with their names new, just changed: Sarah's and Avraham's

Lives were newly arranged to meet their future stations...


Haftorah:

While crafts folk take great pride in their own work that excels,

It is nowhere near as perfect as HaShem's glories:

The One who strengthens the Faithful, shame oppressors well,

At times with long stories about how far down they fell...


So the lowly, imperfect of Israel should not fear.

To always help and redeem you, HaShem will be near.

Hence you'll rejoice as Glories of HaShem become clear.

The Young need learn to follow, embracing wisdom’s way

That Yisrael is blessed, their eyes no longer tear...

That Israel is chosen and should no longer fear

For HaShem helps the Chosen trusting G!d all their days...


11/12, VaYera


Shabbat Shalom! At Beit Torah we will discuss whether and how prayers are answered: 

VaYera 5783 Answers to Prayers; Bereishit 18:1-22:24; II Kings 4:1-37


Near the terebinths of Mamre, some Hevron trees,

Came three strangers to Avraham in the day’s heat,

Messengers from HaShem come for Bikur Cholim

And to tell of what was yet to come, it seems.


Now hospitality reigns over pains of brit

With water, bread, milk, curds, and roasted meat complete.

Sarah would bear a son in a year it was said.

She heard and laughed in joy – at her age to be bred!


[Whom did G!d ask if with Avraham he should speak

On destroying Sodom and Gomorrah that week?

About checking out their reported evil ways?]

Two messengers sent to see if Lot should not stay

Were met by vicious folk... Lot welcomed them at night,

Tried to appease the mob, was saved by blinding light...


[Was the third messenger really G!d in disguise?

One left for Abraham with HaShem to discuss

The innocents who by razing might lose their lives?]

Despite Blessings, Avraham had to learn the fuss:

Plains of Sodom and Gomorrah to be wiped out

Twas told. Avraham bargained with HaShem – so bold!

Yet ten righteous men in those plains weren’t found about.

So HaShem prevailed to destroy those plains, their holds,

With brimstone cremating Lot’s wife after they fled

With their two daughters to Zoar, messenger led…


Still Zoar was not quiet, might yet be destroyed…

Therefor Lot and his daughters were more than annoyed…

They went up the hills to a cave, food and wine stocked.

With no others near them, the girls feared they were locked

Into celibacy in a new world without men.

So they plied Lot with wine until pregnant with sons:

Moab and Ben-Ammi, who then later become

Moabites and Ammonites. For Folk, erstwhile friends.


In Gerar the sister-wife ploy was used once more.

[Did Sarah herbal taint the water supply store?]

With an infertile household, Abimelech King

Heard from HaShem of the plot in a vivid dream.

He paid Avraham his household health to restore

Since the dream said he had Prophet magic galore!


Sarah bore her son, Yitzchak, in less than a year -

With an eighth day Brit and upon weaning, feast…

Ishmael could inherit, not her son, she feared.

So she expelled him and his mom - yet not deceased...

Then to stop inheritance rights, Hagar was freed

While promised many nations her son would lead!


Avraham, Abimelech got along indeed.

So when there was a well dispute’s settlement need,

King Abimelech said Avraham dug that well.

As well marker was planted a tamarisk tree…


Now perhaps most perplexing during Yitzchak’s youth

Was Avraham’s taking him and wood up to pray

On a mountain with an altar but no goose…

Was Yitzchak rebellious? To be shown the way,

Avraham bound him on altar as if to say

Our HaShem will save you yet on this very day!


Lo! A ram tangled or tied in brambles was seen,

Then ‘twas used for sacrifice. Yitchak got off clean

With respect for HaShem reinforced in his mind,

Yitzchak, in shock, left alone, his own path to find…

Some say he fled to his great by five Grandpa's home

For comfort and study, his lost youth to bemoan...


Lastly the family line of Nahor is told

Listing Rifka and other cousins in the fold…


Haftorah:

To Elisha, a widow her woes cried out:

In debt; destitute; facing slavery too…

So he said: gather vessels from all about

Which he caused to be filled with oil, brand new,

Til there was enough for all debts to be paid

And to live comfortably all of their days…


A Shunnamite gave Elisha a place to rest

And a room while bemoaning not having a son.

As promised by Elisha, next year she bore one

Who as a child did play in the hot fields and yet

Was stricken with heat exhaustion and seemed quite dead.

The Shunnamite hurried to Elisha in deep grief.

He quickly returned with her for the child to tend,

Reviving him mouth-to-mouth, body warmth to mend…

The child sneezed seven times to his mother’s relief!


Notes: 1- When Lot split from Avraham it was said he went towards Zoar however in this Parasha is when Zoar got its name!!!

2- As per earlier in Torah: The Dead Sea was formed [during the destruction of the Plains of Sodom and Gomorrah] from the Valley of Sidim.

Shabbat Shalom! How can we value all folk equally, especially seniors? At Beit Torah we we will discuss whether we do or not, and how to improve as needed:


Chayei Sarah 5783 Aging; Bereishit 23:1-25:18; I Kings 1:1-31


Now Sarah lived for one hundred twenty-seven years;

Died in Hevron. Yitzchak thirty-seven then would be,

A son with his own path; Ishmael about fifty:

Good life near Egypt another eighty-seven years…

So alone, Avraham, then bought a burial site

Near where he had settled, from a neighboring Hittite.


His Chief Servant a wife for Yitzchak would find, he swore,

From the Cousins in the northern city of Nahor…

Only to bring her back after bride price paid and more:

Gifts for the drooling family after she agreed.


So with ten camels laden with wealth he went to seek

A fair maiden who would care for himself and his beasts,

(Who gladly would leave her brother and his deep set greed.)

He returned Negba to Yitzchak, with Rifka in tow:

Yitzchak praying in sheep breeders' fields, baring his soul!

Grieving his Mom! Love at first sight! She would fill his nights!


Avraham was lonely, too. Wife Keturah he took

[Had she been his loved concubine for years at least?]

She bore six sons who with gifts went East

Towards Northern Arabia, Aramenian land.

So then inheriting all was his beloved Yitzchak

Who with brother Ishmael buried in fashion grand

Their Father with Mother Sarah when he aged and died

After a long life at one hundred seventy-five…


Haftorah:

Old King David kept warm by Abishag virgin

Was a bit out of it on matters of the days.

So second son Adonijah, spoiled, claimed the throne.

His narcissist ego would not leave him alone...

Most folk did not support him nor his corrupt ways

Which threatened to murder all those who opposed him.


Hence the Prophet Nathan told Bat-Sheva all what to say

To David: ‘You promised Solomon to be King one day!’

Nathan on cue entered to warn of Adonijah’s scare,

So King David then declared Solomon to be his heir!

11/26, Toldot

Shabbat Shalom! Does cultural assimilation always occur? To what extent? At Beit Torah we will discuss how to stay 'Jewish' in foreign cultures:


Toldot 5783 To be a Hurrite; Bereishit 25:19-28:9; Malachi 1:1-27


Yitzchak grieved fa full three years before Rivka came on the scene.

For many years more he begged HaShem to give him some offspring…

Twins took hold in Rivka’s womb. She asked HaShem to stop their fight.

HaShem promised her two mighty nations they would grow to be

With the older serving the younger, in future she would see.


Red Esau came first, then Yaacov holding his heel most tightly:

Red outdoor hunter to meet Dad’s palette with spiced meat just right;

Pensive Mama’s boy home-body, learning from all in his sight.

For Yaacov’s stew, hungry Esau, under oath, sold his birthright…


Famine made Gerar, Philistia, a welcome place to go.

Yitzchak did fear. So they tried another sister-wife show.

Yet Avimelech was wise to them, but understood fearful thoughts.

So he told all his countrymen: as to Yitzchak, your hands keep off!


Then Yitzchak settled near Gerar gaining herds and many folk,

But some Philistines were jealous and Avraham’s wells clogged up.

Avimelech was concerned, told Yitzchak it was no joke,

That he needed to leave town before skirmishes would erupt.

So to Wadi Gerar he moved, but was chased from two wells more

[Esek and Sitnah] until the third, Rehovot, was good score!


Yitzchak’s men dug a seventh well. Avimelech came to meet,

Along with his entourage, he sued for peace, a sworn Pact, Brit!

The well (Beer), called Sheva, gave water. Beer-Sheva the place was named.

[Note: Yitzchak's said gone to Beer Sheva before Sheva well dug through!]

This place was, too, where HaShem to Yitzchak Avraham's Brit renewed!

Yehudit and Basmat, Hittite wives of Esau, were his shame…


With Yitzchak’s eyes failing, he asked Esau to hunt, cook some game

To be blessed… Rivka prepared Yaacov to go in his stead

With Esau’s clothes, kid skin arms, savory goat favorite stew…

Yaacov was blessed with all brothers as servants the Hurrite way…


Esau swore to kill his brother once his Father died. Enraged,

He caused his Mom fear. She sent Yaacov to Laban as he fled,

But told Yitzchak it was for him to find cousin wives to woo -

At age forty with twenty years more or so 'fore returning, too.

Esau, to please them, took Ishmael’s child, Machalot, to wed.


Malachi Haftorah:

It seems HaShem preferred Yaacov’s over Esau’s ways

As a “Father” deserves honor and reverence through all days.

So why scorned? Altars defiled? Cursed are all folk and Priests who stray!

Still the Levite Brit stands if they follow truth, lead none astray...


Shabbat Shalom! At Beit Torah we will discuss how families get dispersed:

Vayetzei 5783 Escaping Family; Bereishit 28:10-32:3; Hosea 11:7-12:12 [Sephard]


On the way to Laban in Charan, Yaacov had a dream

About a passage up to HaShem, traffic going both ways.

Therein HaShem again promised land and numerous offspring,

Spread across many nations to be returned to the Land,

As promised before to Avraham and Yitzchak in their days -

Including saying that all other nations will bless their stand…

Yaacov bargained that if he returned home safely indeed,

He would embrace HaShem who there dwelt at Beth-El… thus vowed he

That this place known before as Luz, a most Holy site will be!


Continuing eastward, Yaacov found folk near a well who

Pointed to Cousin Rachel and all her flock – and Laban knew…

So Yaacov moved the well stone and watered so her’s could share...

Then they went home to be welcomed by Laban: his sister’s son

To his home and for his daughters – a potential groom had come!

With deceit he charged fourteen years labor for both daughters fare…


With twelve children in tow, Yaacov wanted to go on home

But Laban convinced him to stay.

For six more years of labor with speckled, spotted, dark, and roan

Goats and sheep given as his pay.

Laban gave him a flock to tend with none of these color tones.


Yet Yaacov bred many claiming HaShem said to use rods

Carved with desired patterns to gain

Some speckled, spotted, dark studs for breeding colors of the same…

A good story for the soo ignorant Laban and his sons…

Facts say Yaacov’s careful observations likely were done.


Laban’s sons were jealous. For Yaacov ‘twas time to go home.

So while Laban was out shearing, on camels with flocks they flee…

On third day Laban chased – a week to overtake them it took

And to accuse them of sneaking away with an idol crook…

Yaacov trusted that there was nothing amiss to be seen.

He let Laban search, naive to realities of deceit…


Not so with Rachel who understood well her Father:

To restrain violence he surely would not bother.

She knew she needed to interrupt his decisions

By removing his counselors, idols of visions...

So that claims to property and children became moot;

So that in local court he could never win a suit.


Thus Jacob, Leah, Rachel showed family unity

With fourteen plus years resisting Laban’s impunities.

Still discord and fear of Father Laban, his offspring,

Who were ready to fight for all flocks, lands, and well springs -

Until a treaty was agreed to amid a feast,

With boundary markers set and servitude released!

Pillar and stone mound: vows to each one's 'god' sealed the same...

Would Laban have agreed to such a complete defeat

Had HaShem not warned him to desist while in a dream?

So that place was called Gal-ed, later, Mitzpah’s the name…


Then HaShem’s folk met Yaacov near the Canaan border.

Mahanaim thence named to recall their return’s fame…


Sephardic Haftorah:


To give up on the unfaithful Folk, HaShem refused.

So the lands of Ephraim and Judah were beseeched

Repeatedly: return to HaShem, no Laws abused,

To avoid dishonesties, idolatries eschewed

Until forgiveness, repentance, and returns are reached…

The Ashkkenazi version ends on a more positive note:

Forgiveness, repentance and returns will be achieved.

Vayishlach 5783 Family Reconciliation; Bereishit 32:4-36:43; Ovadia 1:1-21


Yaacov struggled with his pain over fear of brotherly wrath.

One misstep done and he could go lame or even lose sons along his path.

Then in fierce struggle with his inner pain,

Yaacov pulled his hip… Was it a sprain?

With whom he struggled, would not give his name -

Although Yaacov’s name to Israel was changed.


Hard to overcome family discord

as when broken sib trust must be restored:

Language is cautious, actions even more so

as family unity’s where they must go:

‘I now won’t step on yours, please do not step on mine.

If together we do so, we both should be fine.’


Yet even that path was still fraught with danger

When Dinah was raped by a Princely stranger.

Shimon and Levi killed all the Shechem men,

Vengeance for their sister’s rape – and then

They fled: midwife Devorah did die;

Rachel, bereft, in childbirth did cry:

“By my suffering I am killed.”

Jacob’s sorrow could not be stilled…


[But Son Reuven did not flee, Clan leader he tried to be...]


Jacob buried Rachel on the way

to Father Yitzchak, where he could stay,

who lived one hundred eighty years we’ve heard:

By both Jacob and Esau was interred…


Both the twins went on to live long, fruitful lives.

Esau’s line in this parsha end is described...


Haftorah:

Ovadia believed that revenge on Esau should be taken,

So he predicted a war with Edom was in the making

From which all Edomites would end up removed,

The Land would be possessed and judged, all idolatry destroyed

With return of morality, the Torah Law re-deployed…