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Parashat Vaetchanan - 5777

Dear friends,

In the second portion of the Book of Devarim, Moses reminds the Israelites of the many important events that took place since they had left Egypt. The most important event was the day when they stood at Mount Sinai and witnessed the Revelation when the Ten Commandments were given. This Parasha also contains the Shema, the affirmation of faith that is included in the daily morning and evening services.

This Shabbat is known as Shabbat Nahamu, the Sabbath of comfort. It is always the Shabbat that follows the Fast of Tisha b'Av, when we commemorate the destruction of the Temple and the exile from Israel. How did the Jews remain connected to their heritage even after having been exiled from their land for close to 2000 years? The answer can be found in this week's Parasha:

Moses emphasizes to his people that they must teach Torah to their children and teach them their history going back to the Exodus from Egypt. This Mitzvah has been at the core of every Jewish community. No matter where they lived, in addition to the parents' teachings, Jewish schools were established as a priority to transmit our heritage to our children. On this Shabbat Nahamu, we take comfort knowing that Israel has again become the national home for many Jews, and that our people continue to study and live according to the teachings of the Torah. It is our hope that we can merit to pass this heritage on to our children and to future generations.

Do your best to promote Jewish learning for all ages.

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram