TTT: Haye Sara 5772

November 17th, 2011 by admin | Filed under TTT.

Torah Thoughts for Today
Shabbat Haye Sara 5772
Rabbi Mark Mallach
Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael, Springfield, NJ
Sunday evening, 11/27, 7:45 PM & Monday morning, 11/28, 7 AM, Miriam Gershwin has a Yahrzeit


November 19, 2011 – 22 Heshvan 5772
Annual: Genesis 23:1 – 25:188 (Etz Hayim p. 127; Hertz p. 80)
Triennial: Genesis 24:10 – 24:52 (Etz Hayim p. 132; Hertz p. 83)
Haftarah: I Kings 1:1 – 31 (Etz Hayim p. 143; Hertz p. 90)
Prepared by Rabbi Joseph Prouser

“Then Laban and Bethuel answered, ‘The matter was decreed by the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be a wife to your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.” (Genesis 24:50)
“A Roman matron asked Rabbi Yose bar Chalafta: ‘In how many days did God create His world?’ “‘In six days,’ he replied. “‘And what has He been doing ever since?’ she asked. “‘God sits and arranges marital matches,’ Rabbi Yose told her. ‘It is as difficult as parting the Red Sea.'” (Midrash Bereishit Rabbah 68:3-4)
“When Resh Lakish began to expound, he spoke thus: ‘They only pair a woman with a man according to his deeds. Rabbi Judah has said in the name of Rav: ‘Forty days before the creation of a child, a Divine Voice issues forth and proclaims: The daughter of So-andso is for So-and-so.'” (Talmud Sotah 2A)
“Beshert is what you get after using your time to be loving and caring, after creating a true marital unit out of two individuals. It is true that everything is in the Almighty’s hands, but not necessarily in the way we initially think. If we do the real job necessary to make a marriage work, then the Almighty performs a miracle for us – we see that although we didn’t recognize it at first, we have married our beshert after all.” (Emuna Braverman)
“Providence is wiser than you, and you may be confident it has suited all things better to your eternal good than you could do had you been left to your own option.” (John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence)
“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.” (Maya Angelou)

Laban is, understandably, viewed as less than a positive character. Even his name, meaning “white” – that is, without distinguishing features or characteristics – implies a lack of principle. Was his endorsement of God’s plan sincere and faithful? What ulterior motives might have impelled him to make this statement? Was he demonstrating trust in God, or was he duplicitously exploiting the religious fervor of Abraham’s servant?
If we are agents of God’s Providence – that is, if it is our job to carry out God’s master plan – when is it proper to say, “We cannot speak to you bad or good,” simply accepting events as a function of Divine will? How do we know when to act, when to intervene when events take a turn we judge to be unseemly, undesirable, or un-Godly? How are we to make such judgments, and when are we to bow to Providence?
Why is romantic love – and, more specifically, the successful marital bond – viewed as God’s handiwork? Is this a statement about the sanctity of marriage? A reflection on the mystery of what attracts any two people together as marital partners? The infinite influences, coincidences, choices, and other inexplicable factors that conspire to bring two people together?
Consider the debate between Resh Lakish and Rav. What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of each sage’s position? Are there not examples of unfortunate people of good character with profoundly unworthy spouses? Does this unpleasant reality undermine Rav or Resh Lakish? Resh Lakish was a penitent former gladiator, who returned to Jewish piety and was married to the beautiful sister of Rabbi Yochanan; how does his theology of marriage reflect his view of himself?! How might Emuna Braverman resolve (or, at least, respond to) this rabbinic dispute?
Your thoughts as always are welcome…


A. Sunday, November 20:
1. 9 AM:
a. Religious School
b. Morning Minyan
2. 10 AM – 5 PM: Jewish Fair & Expo Green Lane Y
3. 7 – 8 PM: Step Up For Israel – 2nd in the series of films and discussion on advocacy for Israel
4. 7:45 PM: evening minyan

B. Thursday, November 17th, 7:45 PM: Torah on Tap
C. Friday, November 18th:

1. 6:30 PM: Kids Kabbalat Shabbat program
2. 8 PM: late service

D. Saturday, November 19th, Bat Mitzvah of Elana Neher

E. Monday, November 21st , 7:30 PM: Springfield Interfaith Clergy Association Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Community Service – hosted by Temple Shaa`rey Shalom

F. Thursday, November 24th – MORNING MINYAN TIME = 9 AM
G. Thursday, December 1, 8 PM: Coffee & Clergy Corner – Springfield Barnes & Noble: Rabbi Mallach & Reverend David Knecht, Holy Cross Lutheran Church – will lead a topical discussion on issues that we all face – OPEN TO ALL
H. Friday, December 2nd, 6:30 PM: SHABBATis4U
a. Services led by Kitah Zayin & Vav
c. December birthday blessings
d. Yahrzeit list is read
e. Shabbat dinner to follow the services – an RSVP is needed – contact the office:

I. Saturday, December 3rd, 9:30 AM: Anniversary of the B`nai Mitzvah of Ari & Ben Scherzer

There have been inquiries about the next potential congregation Israel tour, such an event depends on several factors:
1. Currently exploring departure dates for the end of June, 2012
2. Having a nucleus of participants to make it viable – 20 adult minimum
3. Having a chairman to organize
If anyone is interested, please let me know and we can discuss the possibilities (NOTE: HAVE GOTTEN MANY RESPONSES, INTEREST IS CLEARLY GROWING…)

For updated information go to:

You can also visit my website at