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KD Daily - Shabbat Shalom

Today is DAY FORTY-THREE, which makes SIX WEEKS and ONE DAY of the Omer.


Yesterday in our countdown of the Ten Commandments, Morah Anat wrote about how her experience at Jewish summer camp transformed her understanding of Shabbat. I would have to say the same. And it isn't just the singing, or all the campers dressed in white, or praying outdoors—though I do love those things. It's earnestness. There's a genuine enthusiasm for Shabbat at camp that is hard to find anywhere else, with children or adults.

But actually... Our Friday night Zoom gatherings have a little bit of that spirit. By now, some of our kitchens, offices, and Shabbat tables have become familiar sights. There's a freewheeling, empathetic community spirit—even after all these weeks. It is a genuine pleasure ("ONEG") and relief to see each other, as we check in at the end of the week. I can see it on your faces. It's a sanctification of Shabbat.

I truly look forward to seeing you this evening as we welcome Shabbat. Join us for Blessings at 6pm, Live Services at 7:30pm, or both!

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Noah​​​​


Torah for Today

Rabbi Noah

As we approach Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, we are basing our day-by-day teachings on each of the Ten Commandments.

Commandment #5: "Honor your father and your mother, that you may long endure on the land that Adonai your God is assigning to you."

Out of all 613 commandments in the Torah, only two promise a specific reward for when they are fulfilled. One is this Fifth Commandment, "Honor your father and mother," and the other is the law in Deuteronomy that you must shoo away a mother bird before taking eggs from a nest (22:6-7). The reward promised for both is the same: long life.

Why should these specific commandments come with a promised reward and not any others? The Talmud teaches that honoring parents is the most difficult of all the commandments to fulfill. Sending away the mother bird might be the easiest. We can infer that if the reward for both the hardest and easiest mitzvot is long life, the same must be true for all the other commandments as well. "The Torah is a Tree of Life..."

But the Midrash also see the listing of a reward for these two commandments as a different kind of lesson. The Rabbis taught:

A king hired laborers and brought them into his garden without disclosing what he intended to pay for the various kinds of work, lest they should neglect the work for which the pay was little for work for which the pay was high. In the evening the king called each one and asked him: "At which tree have you worked?" He replied: "At this one." Thereupon the king said to him: "This is a pepper tree and the pay for working at it is one golden piece." He then called another and asked him: "At which tree have you worked?" And he replied "At this one." Whereupon the king exclaimed: "This is an olive tree and the pay for working at it is 200 zuz." Said the laborers to the king: "You should have informed us from the outset which tree had the greater pay attached to it, so that we might have worked at it." The king replied: "Had I done this, how would the whole of my garden have been worked?" So too, God did not reveal the reward of the commandments, except of two, the weightiest and the least weighty. The honoring of parents is the very weightiest . . . and the sending away of the mother bird is the least weighty. (D'varim Rabbah 6:2)

According to this midrash, the fact that "Honor your father and your mother"—an extremely important mitzvah—and "Shoo away the mother bird"—a very minor mitzvah—are said to have the same reward is meant to be perplexing. It's a reminder that there is more to God's Torah than we are able to work out by logic. Or as the Mishnah puts it, "Be as careful in the performance of minor commandments as a major commandment, since you do not know the reward for any of the commandments" (Avot 2:1).

It may not be realistic to think that we will fulfill minor commandments with the same intention and intensity that we bring to our most important Jewish activities, but we are reminded not to ignore any part of our Jewish life—we don't always know what will end up being important and what the rewards of our mitzvot will be.


Celebrate Shabbat

*LIVE* Candle Lighting and Shabbat Blessings

Friday, 5/22, 6:00pm

Check your daily email for how to join.

*LIVE*Friday Night Shabbat Service

Friday, 5/22, 7:30pm

Check your daily email for how to join.

Shabbat Morning Torah Study

Saturday, 5/23, 9:00-10:00am

Check your daily email for how to join.

Havdallah with Cantor Sarah

Saturday, 5/23, 6:00pm (Pre-recorded)

Will be posted on Kol Dorot Facebook Page

Coming Next Week

*NEW* Rosh Chodesh Service Monday, 5/25, 10:00am

Check your daily email for how to join.


For Shabbat Fun

Cantor Sarah continues to produce amazing "Rhythm and Ruach" music videos for our Early

Learning Center students. But you don't have to be in preschool to ENJOY!


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