Shabbat Candle Lighting Times for
Friday, December 16th
Light Candles at 15:38
Join us Tonight!
Weekly Kabbalat Shabbat Services 20:30
Followed by Shabbat Dinner
Shabbat, December 17th,
Shabbat Ends 17:04
Torah Portion: Vayishlach
What is peace? Is it just the absence of conflict? Or is it the result of active rapprochement between two otherwise incompatible parties, bringing them to a sense of unity and synthesis?
In other words, does a couple find peace when they’ve stopped quibbling, or when they’ve learned to work together toward a joint goal?
From a Torah perspective, it’s the latter.
And from that same perspective, our entire lives are about creating peace. An isolationist existence isn’t a genuinely peaceful existence. True peace is living an engaged existence, one in which I’m interacting with others – many of whom have personalities/approaches that don’t easily sync with mine – and creating quality, productive associations.
And it’s not just about human interactions; it’s about engagement with the world at large. Every day, we encounter situations and objects which need to be reconciled with our Higher Purpose. Our mission is to create peace.
Imagine the box top of a huge jigsaw puzzle. The picture gives you a projection of how the finished product should look, and that helps you discern how to properly place the seemingly – and sometimes annoyingly – random piece in your hand.
The Torah is our box top; it gives us an image of how life should look. We’re dealt little puzzle pieces all day – good news and sad news, pleasant conversations and irritating ones, food that’s suitable for our intake and some we should avoid, etc. Our job is to pause and consider the box top’s guidance. Pause and contemplate where this object or opportunity fits into life, put it into its proper place, and keep building that puzzle.
This process is the way we bring peace to ourselves and to our world. We bring oneness and synchronicity to a seemingly random, disconnected universe. We find wholeness. We find peace.
Every Friday night, we reflect on our week’s puzzle-building. And every Friday night, G-d takes pleasure in our progress.
Before we recite the Kiddush, sanctifying this Holy day of Divine Satisfaction, we turn to the angels and sing Shalom Aleichem’, ‘Welcome Angels of Peace.’
Angels are Divine functionaries which G-d creates to interface with humanity. Friday night’s angels represent the peace we’ve created all week. They, in turn, convey G-d’s blessing for the strength to create peace in the week ahead.
TONIGHT, put your life on pause. Join us for Shabbat services; take the opportunity to welcome YOUR angels.
Bring on the peace.
Rabbi Yanky and Rivky Klein
This email is In Loving memory of my dear father
R’ Yerachmiel Binyamin Halevi ben R, Menachem Klein OBM