Parashat Beshalach/Shabbat Shira – January 26 & 27
Candle Lighting: 4:43 pm
Mincha & Kabbalat Shabbat: 4:50 pm
Sefer Torah Sponsor:
Lee, Ben, Sarit and David Eskenazi
From the desk of The Rabbi – Parashat Beshalach-Shabbat Shira-Tu BiShvat:
After the children of Israel escape from the clutches of the Egyptian army, they set up camp at a place called Elim, which has twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. Rashi comments that the twelve springs are reflective of the twelve tribes of Israel, while the seventy palm trees are connected to the seventy elders of Israel. The Ramban, claiming he cannot see the relationships Rashi describes, instead posits a puzzling viewpoint quoting a midrash, that the seventy elders are appreciative of the ability to sit under the shade of the trees and avoid the hot sun.While we can truly appreciate the importance of trees, especially in regard to Tu Bishvat and the Jewish National Fund, one fails to understand why the Ramban shares with us a mundane fact regarding the seventy elders. Notwithstanding the normative interpretation of the midrash cited by the Ramban, there is possibly another conclusion that can be drawn from another section of this weekâ€™s Torah reading dealing with a tree (or at least a piece of wood.)
Prior to coming to Elim, the people of Israel encamp in a place called Marah which in Hebrew means “bitter”. The waters there are indeed bitter, in contrast to the springs of Elim, G-d tells Moshe to throw a piece of wood, or literally a tree, into the waters of Marah, which results in the waters turning sweet. As we know, the waters of Marah when sweetened are compared to the study of Torah, which is symbolized by living or pure water. The implication is, of course, that those who engage in the pursuit of Torah study are indeed blessed.
The seventy elders are the models of piety and erudition that the people of Israel should emulate. The palm trees are symbolic of sustenance, physical and spiritual. The seventy elders find refuge in the shade of these trees symbolic of life, a life imbued with Torah values.
Rabbi Yehuda Simes zt”l Sefer Torah
We have been so pleased with the response to Rabbi Yehuda Simes ztâ€l Torah Project and with the responses so far. We wanted to share with you the launch of a dedicated website for friends in the United States to help us reach our goal. https://www.jewcer.org/project/rabbisimestorahproject/We hope you will support this worthy initiative and help us spread the word to all those who knew Rabbi Simes.Please share this link with your family, friends and people who knew Rabbi Simes and who live in the US.
The Rabbi Simes Torah Project is a celebration of the man who positively affected so many lives. His lasting influence on the Ottawa Jewish community and his Congregation is immeasurable. Rabbi Simes loved his family. He loved Judaism. He loved his community and he loved learning.
A Torah scroll dedicated in his memory will honour his love of teaching, learning and commitment to a life of Torah. This Sefer Torah will be housed at Beit Tikvah, the shul Rabbi Simes attended. In recognition of the fact that Rabbi Simes reached the entire community, the Sefer Torah will be made available and brought to other locations for Simchas and sadly, during times of sorrow.
Help us reach our goal. Donations can be made by Interac eTransfer, cheque, credit card, and PayPal or by calling the Shul office at 613-723-1800.
Donations: * General Donations: $18
* Siddurim: Koren/Artscroll $50
* Koren Talmud Bavli: $100
* Wall of Honour/brick: $118
JFS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: JFS is in need of Friendly Visitors for a few clients. All are isolated seniors in need of a little companionship, whether visits at home, over the phone, or going on outings. Some will be replacements for volunteers gone south for the winter. Students welcome. Commitment is for only 1 hour at a time, every week or twice a month. East and West end locations. 613.722.2225, ext.315 to help. ESL teacher needed beginning January 2018. Beginners’ conversational English for Russian-speaking seniors, on Mondays 1:00-2:30pm, at JFS on Carling Ave. Lesson prep, room set-up/clean up, and attendance taking. Occasional replacement for 10:30am-12 class, as well. Conversational Russian an asset, but not required. Call 613.722.2225, ext. 315 to volunteer. Russian-speaking volunteer needed to help plan and organize monthly day trips, cultural activities, picnics, and potlucks for Russian-speaking seniors. To help, please call Gohar at 613.722.2225, ext.425. Drivers urgently needed to transport clients to/from Adult Day Programs, medical appointments, and social programs. All areas of the city needed. 613.722.2225, ext.315.JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES: Parenting in the 21st C: Free 3-Part Parenting Series for Jewish Families NEW! Tuesdays, February 6 to February 20, 6:30 – 8 pm. Is parenting leaving you feeling frustrated? Confused? Worried? Do you wonder about how to set limits? How to manage your teen’s moods, your child’s outbursts? Do you feel disrespected as a parent? Come and meet with other parents as our in-house clinical experts share some knowledge and suggestions on how to feel more confident in parenting. Rabbi Tanger will be in attendance. Pareve refreshments will be served. Sessions are free, child minding available. Contact Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org. 2255 Carling Ave., Suite 300.