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Keep on dancing with the Torah

Friday, 16 October, 2020 - 4:03 pm

Last weekend we celebrated Simchat Torah, the holiday that emphasizes how precious the Torah is to us. Even though the Torahs are wrapped up and covered during the dancing, indicating that we all share an equal association with the Torah, yet, the ultimate goal is to translate the celebration into a new enthusiasm for the study of Torah.

The Chabad Rebbes would make the following declaration at the conclusion of Simchat Torah: “V’Yaakov Halach L’darko – and Jacob went on his way.” This was an encouragement to take all of the inspiration of the holiday month and translate it into an energy that uplifts everyday life.

Quite often we make idealistic resolutions. The challenge is to pragmatize those ideals and apply them into action. On Simchat Torah we dream of a renewed commitment to Torah study for the coming year. Then the holiday ends and we find it challenging to make those dreams a reality. At times, what a person needs, is an opportunity to present itself that will enable one to make that transition from “if only” to “absolutely.”

I would like to share with you an opportunity here in our community to quench your desire for quality Torah learning. The Jewish Learning Institute has developed another tantalizing course entitled “Secrets of the Bible.” This course takes six intriguing Biblical narratives and dissects them using the knife of Jewish mysticism and Chassidus. Stories like Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge, Noah’s Ark, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers, the Golden Calf, and the Korach Rebellion, are guaranteed to capture your attention. As always, the inner dimension of these stories will leave us with much food for thought and incisive insights into our own longing for self-improvement.

The six-week course will be offered beginning in early November at Chabad Uptown, taught by yours truly (Rabbi Mendel Rivkin), and at Chabad Metairie, taught by Rabbi Mendel Ceitlin, starting the last week of October. Each location will offer an in-person option as well as a separate Zoom option. Chabad Uptown classes will be held on Wednesdays and Chabad Metairie will hold the classes on Tuesdays. Details about registration, pricing, and exact schedules will be released in the middle of next week, G-d willing. The first class will be free and open to the public in both venues with rsvp required.

Do not let this opportunity pass you up! Don’t allow another year of empty Simchat Torah dreams to go by. Grab hold of yourself and make the commitment to participating in Secrets of the Bible this fall/winter. We look forward to sharing this adventure with you.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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