Shabbat Shalom!


Above or One of the People?

Oct. 21, 2016

20 Tishrei 5777

Candle Lighting: 5:50 p.m.

“The Tribes of Israel” – an iEngage course from the Shalom Hartman Institute will be co-taught by Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal and Rabbi Devorah Marcus beginning Thursday, November 3. Please click here for further information and a complete schedule

Dear Friends:

Should a rabbi be “one of the people” or spiritually and religiously above them?

There is a well-known midrash about the symbolism of the Lulav and Etrog in theTalmud. The Etrog (citron), which has both taste and smell, represents the Jew who knows Torah and performs good deeds. The Lulav (palm), which has taste but no smell, represents the Jew who does not know Torah but performs good deeds. The myrtle, which does not have taste but does have smell, represents the Jew who knows Torah but does not perform good deeds. The willow has neither taste nor smell, representing the Jew who neither knows Torah nor performs good deeds.

On Sukkot we take all four of these species and wave them together. “God says: ‘Unite them all. When Jews come together, each makes up for what the other lacks.'”

The Chofetz Chaim comments that scholars know Torah and perform good deeds. They are therefore symbolized by the Etrog. He adds that it is important to note that it is only when we are performing the mitzvah of shaking the Lulav and Etrog, that all four species come together. Before and after shaking, while the palm, myrtle, and willow are bound together, the Etrog is kept on the side by itself.

From here we learn, writes the Chofetz Chaim, that is it is only when the community is engaged in learning Torah and performing mitzvot that rabbis and scholars are supposed to join with the rest of the people. Otherwise, they do not.

TIS’s next Rabbi?

As Tifereth Israel looks for its next rabbi, do you want that rabbi to be “one of the people” or spiritually and religiously separate from the congregation?

Moadim L’Simcha and Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal

Tifereth Israel Synagogue

San Diego, CA 92119

Candle Lighting: 5:50 p.m.

6:15 p.m.- Shir Chadash Shabbat Service

Followed by a festive Sukkot dinner (by reservation only)

9:15 a.m. Shabbat Service

Sunday, Oct. 23 – 8:30 a.m. – Hoshana Rabba Service

Monday, Oct. 24 – 9:30 a.m. – Shemini Atzeret Service (Yizkor-Memorial Service)

Monday, Oct. 24 – 6:30 p.m. – Simchat Torah Service

Tuesday, Oct. 25 – 9:30 a.m. – Simchat Torah Service

For all 5776 D’vrei Torah click here.

For Rabbi Rosenthal’s High Holy Day Sermons click here.