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Jewish Protestors

Friday, 26 August, 2016 - 1:54 pm

At any given protest for a social cause you will likely find a disproportionate number of Jews in attendance. In truth we have a long history of protesting perceived injustices (think Abraham and Moses). One of the protests on record in our history, is related to us by Abudraham, one of the earliest commentaries to the Siddur.

He frames the first four Haftarahs in the series known as the “seven of comfort,” as a continuous dialogue between Hashem and the Jewish nation. (The seven Haftarahs are read during the seven weeks between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah.)

The first, Nachamu, Nachamu Ami, is interpreted as G-d instructing the prophets to comfort the people following the destruction. The second, Vatomer Tzion Azavani Hashem, is interpreted as the Jewish nation protesting that Hashem has forsaken and forgotten them and only sends them the comfort through the prophets. The third, Aniah Soarah, is interpreted as Zion as an afflicted, storm tossed one who refuses to be comforted by the prophets. Finally in the fourth, Anochi, Anochi Hu Menachemchem, Hashem responds by declaring, I, Myself will come and comfort you.

As this comfort from Hashem is as of yet incomplete (we are still in exile), we must continue to protest and demand our rights to Redemption. May Hashem finally grant us our request and usher in the era of Moshiach!

This coming Wednesday evening our community will have the opportunity to participate in a high quality adult-educational experience, Project Talmud Summer 2016. The event is underwritten by GCP Labs of Gulfport, MS in memory of Reb Shmuel ben Aryeh Leib Fishel Halevi Shindler.

Our presenters are eminently qualified and the topics are very interesting. Rabbi Yochanan Rivkin has a reputation as a fascinating speaker and teacher. As a Chabad Campus Rabbi he has been on the front lines of facilitating and observing Jewish Social Justice. His experiences have helped him formulate an innovative approach to sharing Torah’s view on Social Justice.

Dr. David Kaufmann has been teaching students and adults for decades both at Tulane University and Chabad House. For the last two years he has been battling a difficult illness. With the help of Hashem and through the efforts of the medical practitioners and his family his future is a brighter one. Dr. Kaufmann has blogged about his challenge over the past two years and will share with us his personal take on Faith during Times of Crisis.

Project Talmud is taking place from 7-9 on Wednesday evening at Chabad Uptown. We look forward to seeing you there.

The relief efforts in the Baton Rouge area are ongoing. Among the many groups engaged in providing assistance to those affected by the flooding is Chabad of Baton Rouge. For updates and to support those efforts please We, as much as anyone on this planet, understand the need and the value of this assistance.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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