Messages from Rabbi Russo

November 13 - 1 Kislev

Shabbat Shalom.
We have had a full week in the secular and Hebrew calendars. On Monday we remembered Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass.  We marked the anniversary of an evening of escalated Nazi violence where Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues were vandalized and 30,000 Jews were arrested.  Two days later our country showed its support for our veterans who keep us safe in America every day through their service.  Veteran's Day recognises the men and women who protect and fight for our freedom and the opportunities awarded to us in America.  On Thursday and Friday we celebrated Rosh Hodesh Kislev, the new month of Kislev, which indicates that Hanukah is coming.  The ups and downs of the week bring us right into the protective embrace of Shabbat.
  
In Parashat Toldot we will read about the place of blessings in the narrative about Jacob and Esau.  Both Jacob and Esau receive a blessing from Isaac in the end, and it is complicated as we will discuss more on Shabbat.  After a week of remembering violence, bravery, and joy, we may feel that blessings have their own nuances.  I invite you to dwell upon the blessings in your life this Shabbat even if they have not always felt like a blessing at every moment. 

Shabbat Shalom.