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           Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah                                     October 1-2 2018  22-23 Tishrei, 5779

                     TORAH  ORAH
                     TORAH  TORAH        Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on V’zot HaBracha
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              A                        Each year, as we near the   again”. (Deut. 3:26) Why? This is   beginning: to think of ourselves
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                                       end of the Mosaic books and  the man who, eighteen times in   as smaller than we actually are,
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                                       Moses’ life, I find myself   Tanakh, is called “God’s servant.”   or greater than we actually are.
                                       asking: Did it really have to   No one else is so described except   How are we to understand the
                    M                  end that way, with Moses   Joshua, twice. His own obituary in   relationship between our
                  S                    denied the chance to even to  the Torah reads: “Never again did   mortality and fallibility and the
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                                       set foot on the land to which  there arise in Israel a prophet like   almost-infinities of space and
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                                       he led the people for forty   Moses” (Deut. 34:10). Why was he  time? Civilizations have
                     HERTZ  698 HERTZ  698    tempestuous years? In the   treated so seemingly harshly by   regularly blurred the line
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                                       Heavenly Court, could   God among whose attributes are   between the human and the
                                       Justice not have yielded to
                  HAFTORAH                                   HAFTORAH                                       forgiveness and compassion?   divine. In myth, the gods
                  HAFTORAH                                   AFTORAH
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                  S                    Mercy for the few days it                           behave like humans, arguing,
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                                       would have taken Moses to   Clearly the Torah is telling us   fighting and contending for
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                                       cross the Jordan and see his  something fundamental. What,   power, while some humans –
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                     HERTZ   982 HERTZ   982    task fulfilled? And for what   though, is it? There are many   the heroes – are seen as semi-
                                       was Moses being punished?   explanations, but I believe the   divine. The Egyptians believed
                    Times              One moment’s anger when   most profound and simplest takes   that pharaohs joined the gods
                                       he spoke intemperately to   us back to the beginning of   after death; some were seen as
                                       the Israelites when they   beginnings: “In the beginning God   gods even during their lifetime.
           Hashkama             8:00 am   were complaining about the   created Heaven and Earth.” There   The Romans declared Julius
                                       lack of water? Can a leader   is Heaven and there is Earth, and   Caesar a god after his death.
           Youth Minyan         8:30 am   not be forgiven for one lapse  they are not the same.   Other religions have believed
                                       in forty years? In the words    In the history of civilization, one   that God has taken human
           Main                 9:00 am   of the sages: Is this the   question has proved hardest of all.  form. It has proved
                                       Torah and this its reward?   In the words of Psalm 8: “What is   exceptionally difficult to avoid
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am
                                       The scene in which Moses   man that you are mindful of him?”   worshipping the human founder
                                       climbs Mount Nebo to see in  What is it to be human? We are an  of a faith. In the modern age,
           Yizkor approx.      10:45 am
                                       the distance the land he   infinitesimal speck in an almost   the blurring of boundaries has
                                       would never enter is one of   infinite universe of a hundred   been democratized. Nietzsche
           Mincha               6:20 pm
                                       the most poignant in all   billion galaxies each with a hundred  argued that we would have to
           Maariv followed      7:17 pm   Tanakh. There is a vast   billion stars. We know that our   become like gods to vindicate
           by Hakafot                  midrashic literature that   lives are like a bare microsecond   our dethroning of God Himself.
                                       turns Moses’ request “Let me  set against the almost-eternity of   The anthropologist Edmund
           Candle Lighting      7:17 pm   cross over to see the good   the cosmos. We are terrifyingly   Leach began his Reith Lectures
           after                       land beyond the         small. Yet we are also astonishingly  with the words, “Men have
                                       Jordan” (Deut. 3:25) into   great. We dominate the planet. We  become like gods. Isn’t it about
           Wed. & Fri.       6:45/7:45 am   high drama, with Moses   have ever-increasing control over   time that we understood our
                                       mounting argument after   nature. We are the only life form   divinity?” As Jews we believe
           Thurs.            6:35/7:45 am   argument in his defense only  thus far known capable of asking   that this is too high an estimate
                                       to be met by unbending   the question, ‘Why?’       of our, or anyone’s, humanity.
           Mincha               6:15 pm   refusal from Heaven:
                                       “Enough from you; do not   Hence the two temptations that   In the opposite direction
                   Latest Times for
                                       speak to me of this matter   have faced Homo sapiens since the  humans have been seen, in
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei
           October 1        9:47/10:46 am   Mazal Tov to our Chatanim for Simchat Torah:
                                                       Chatan Torah: Aryeh Family
           October 6        9:49/10:47 am
                                                         Chatan Maftir: Adam Rapp
                    Next Shabbat
                      Breishit                       Chatan Bereishit: Jason Mayer
           Candle Lighting      6:12 pm                   Kiddush on Simchat Torah
           Mincha               6:15 pm                   is sponsored by the Aryeh Family
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