LATKES LATTES & LIGHTS.
We will enjoy a gourmet latke bar, assorted flavored lattes and I will share some thoughts on the Mystical Lights of the Shabbat and their feminine connection. To top it all off we will be painting our very own set of ceramic (glazed) candlesticks to grace our Shabbat table.
Please bring a gift to donate to victims of hurricane Sandy. All gifts will be distributed directly to Jewish communities which have suffered greatly from the hurricane.
As many of you are aware, I just got up from sitting Shiva for my beloved father, Yitzchok Isaac ben Ovadia, Mr. Isaac Sokel obm. In all the years my parents were married, my father lovingly prepared the Shabbat table and the Shabbat candlesticks for my mother every single week. He also cleaned them & put them away after Shabbat.
It is in tribute to him that I am doing this event. I ask you to come join me in honor of my father.
In this week’s portion, parshat Vayishlach, the Torah mentions that Rachel was buried on the road leading to Efrat.
Rachel was the only one of the matriarchs who was not buried in the Cave of Machpelah. This enabled her to pray on behalf of the Jewish people, who many centuries later, would pass by her grave in Bethlehem as they were driven from the Land of Israel following the destruction of the first temple.
At that time, after the patriarchs tried and failed to appease God, Rachel cried out:
“Master of the universe! Whose mercy is greater — yours, or that of a mortal? Surely Your mercy is greater. Yet I, a mere mortal, mercifully brought my competitor into my home, Jacob served my father just to gain my hand in marriage. Yet when it was time for me to marry him, they brought my sister instead. And not only did I remain silent; I disclosed my secret signs to Leah! You, too, O God: if Your children have brought Your competitor [i.e., idols] into your home, remain silent. I, a mere mortal was not jealous of my competitor. You, O living and eternal king, why be jealous of meaningless idols?”
God’s mercy was immediately aroused, and He proclaimed:
“for you, Rachel, I will return the Jewish people to their homeland. You have advocated well. There is reward for your deed and your righteousness….”
Rachel was well aware of Jacob’s holiness and righteousness. She surely yearned to be married to him and live with him. Yet she gave up that opportunity and allowed her sister to marry Jacob instead. This self-sacrifice later enabled her to use her precedent as a defense for the Jewish people.
Similarly, Rachel gave up thousands of years of burial next to her husband in the Cave of Machpelah for her descendants’ sake, even though these descendants deserved to be exiled because of their sins. It is this sacrifice and devotion that evokes God’s promise to redeem his People, regardless of their mistakes.