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SHEMOT 5784

01/05/2024 12:22:49 PM

Jan5

Dear all,

Last week, we concluded the Book of Bereishis, Genesis. This Shabbat, we begin Sefer Shemot.

The reading of Bereishis this year has been a difficult time for Am Yisrael.  We began reading Bereishis on Simchat Torah, or, as the whole world refers to that date, October 7, the day of the massacre by Hamas.

Shemot, in English, is known as the Book of Exodus. The word “exodus” comes from the Greek, meaning “the way out.” [“hodos” in Greek means “a road,” a word which we all know from the odo/meter in our autos, i.e., the device which measures the roads we have traveled. And “ex” in Greek means “out,” as we know from the prefix in words like “exhale,”] So, the Book of Exodus is the Book describing the way out of our slavery in Egypt.

Likewise, we pray that in the very near future,  there will be a proper exodus of our soldiers from Gaza, so that all Israelis will be able to live in peace and security. As Nahmanides wrote in his introduction to Shemot, “the ‘galut’ is not ended until they return to their place.” And, as hard as it is to imagine now, we pray that there should be peace with our neighbours.

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Im Yirtseh HaShem, I shall be leaving this Sunday for a brief “mission” trip to Israel.

This coming Thursday, 2 Shevat, is the 30th yahrzeit of my father, Shmuel ben Menachem a”h. Although my parents were not at all wealthy people, they had a great love for Erets Yisrael, and made more than 25 trips there over the years. So, it is especially appropriate for me to be in Israel next week.

Due to my hectic schedule in Israel, I shall have to take a hiatus from this “blog” for the next couple of weeks.

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Rosh Hodesh of Shevat will be on Wednesdat night and Thursday [11 Jan.]

“der moylad vet zayn” [The molad will be] Thursday morning, 45 minutes and 4 halaqim after 8.

Shabbat shalom, and a good month,

Rabbi Menahem White

Tue, May 21 2024 13 Iyyar 5784