July 1, 2016 - 25 Sivan
Shelah Lekha brings us back to God's promise of the land of Israel. We read about the spies, sent out to seek out the Promised Land, the land that will become Israel. The story is only the beginning because it takes another forty years before the Israelites live in the Promised Land. It has not been an easy path between the Jews and Israel. Living in a Jewish homeland became a reality only 68 years ago.
Ben Gurion declared Israel's Independence, and 11 minutes later, the United Stated declared Israel's Independence as well. As Jews there are a lot of reasons to love America. Our relationship with Israel is just one reason. This weekend as we celebrate Shabbat, we also have great cause to celebrate the birth of America. We count our blessings as Jews and Americans.
Below I share with you a blessing for July 4th and Shabbat written by Shira M. Zemel and Rabbi Daniel G. Zemel.
Shabbat, as we recite each week, is a reminder of our people’s liberation from Egyptian slavery: Zecher yetziat Mitzrayim. The light that glowed in the bush that would not be consumed was rekindled on these shores as America became a beacon of freedom that glows from sea to shining sea...We end Shabbat with a flame just as July 4th peaks in wondrous flames throughout the sky. On July 4th we dedicate ourselves that these eternal flames shine brightly both at home and across the globe.
Dear God, we ask your blessing on our nation as we enter Shabbat and this sacred American day.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy July 4th