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Parshat Lech Lecha                                                  October 16, 2021  10 Cheshvan, 5782
                                        Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Parshat Lech Lecha
                    TORAH
              ARTSCROLL  54            Leaders lead. That does   new: a religion that will not   Chemosh for the Moabites,
                  HERTZ  45            not mean to say that    worship power and the       Zeus for the Greeks, and
                                                                                           what missiles and bombs
                                       they do not follow. But
                                                               symbols of power – for that is
                                       what they follow is     what idols really were and are.  are for terrorists and rogue
                 HAFTORAH              different from what most  I want you, said God, to “teach  states today. Power allows
            ARTSCROLL   1133           people follow. They don’t  your children and your   us to rule over others
                  HERTZ  60            conform for the sake of   household afterward to follow   without their consent. As
                                       conforming. They don’t   the way of the Lord by doing   the Greek historian
                                       do what others do merely  what is right and just” (Gen.   Thucydides put it: “The
                Bar Mitzvah            because others are doing  18:19).                   strong do what they wish
                       of              it. They follow an inner   To be a Jew is to be willing to   and the weak suffer what
            Miles Shusterman           voice, a call. They have a   challenge the prevailing   they must.” Judaism is a
                                       vision, not of what is, but   consensus when, as so often   sustained critique of power.
                     Times             of what might be. They   happens, nations slip into   That is the conclusion I
                                       think outside the box.
                                                                                           have reached after a
                                       They march to a different   worshipping the old gods. They   lifetime of studying our
           Weekly Times                  tune. Never was this   did so in Europe throughout   sacred texts. It is about
           Shacharit Sun.    7:30/8:30 am   more dramatically   the nineteenth and early   how a nation can be formed
                                                               twentieth century. That was
                                       signaled than in the first                          on the basis of shared
           Mon. & Thurs.     6:35/7:45 am   words of God to    the age of nationalism: the   commitment and collective
           Tue., Wed. & Fri.    6:45/7:45 am   Abraham, the words that   pursuit of power in the name of   responsibility. It is about
                                       set Jewish history in   the nation-state that led to two   how to construct a society
           Mincha               6:00 pm   motion: “Leave your   world wars and tens of millions   that honors the human
                                         land, your birthplace and   of deaths. It is the age we are   person as the image and
           Shabbat Times                 your father’s house and   living in now as North Korea   likeness of God. It is about
                                                               acquires and Iran pursues
                                       go to the land that I will                          a vision, never fully realized
           Candle Lighting      5:56 pm   show you. (Gen. 12:1)”   nuclear weapons so that they   but never abandoned, of a
                                                               can impose their ambitions by
           Friday Mincha        6:00 pm   Why? Because people do   force. It is what is happening   world based on justice and
                                       conform. They adopt the                             compassion, in which “They
           Hashkama             8:00 am   standards and absorb the   today throughout much of the   will neither harm nor
                                                               Middle East and Africa as
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am   culture of the time and   nations descend into violence   destroy on all My holy
                                       place in which they live –                          mountain, for the earth will
           Main Sanctuary       9:00 am   “your land.” At a deeper   and into what Hobbes called   be filled with the knowledge
                                       level, they are influenced   “the war of every man against   of the Lord as the waters
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am                        every man.”
                                       by friends and neighbors                            cover the sea” (Isaiah
           Youth Minyan         9:45 am   – “your birthplace.” More  We make a mistake when we   11:9).
                                       deeply still they are   think of idols in terms of their
           Gemara Shiur         4:45 pm                                                    Abraham is without doubt
                                       shaped by their parents,   physical appearance – statues,
           Mincha/SS            5:45 pm   and the family in which   figurines, icons. In that sense   the most influential person
                                                                                           who ever lived. Today he is
                                       they grew up – “your    they belong to the ancient
           Shabbat Ends         7:02 pm                                                    claimed as the spiritual
                                       father’s house.” I want   times we have long outgrown.
                   Latest Times for    you, says God to        The way to think of idols is in   ancestor of 2.3 billion
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   Abraham, to be different.  terms of what they represent.   Christians, 1.8 billion
                                                                                           Muslims and 14 million
                                       Not for the sake of being  They symbolize power. That is
           October 16       9:53/10:49 am                                                  Jews, more than half the
                                       different, but for the sake  what Ra was for the Egyptians,   people alive today. Yet he
           October 23       9:57/10:51 am   of starting something   Baal for the Canaanites,
                                                                                           ruled no empire,
                    Next Shabbat
                      Vayera                                 Kiddush is sponsored by
           Candle Lighting      5:45 pm                    Jessica & Evan Shusterman
           Mincha               5:45 pm                 in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of their son Miles
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