Mother’s Day. Think we’re a week late? Hardly. Judaism commands us to treat every day as Mother’s Day. What is the source? Exodus 20:12 Honor thy father and thy mother... If you look at the two tablets of the Ten Commandments, you will notice that the first four relate solely to humanity’s relationship with the Divine while the final five are concerned solely with relationships between people.
What then to make of Commandment Numero Cinco? Why should honoring our parents be included with the first, more pious tablet? Shouldn’t it be on the second, more interpersonal tablet? Comes along the Ramban, Nachmanides, who writes that honoring one’s parents is the most natural connective tissue between the two. Taken another way, the first four commandments deal with humanity’s perception of a Creator. Following Adam and Eve however, mothers took over the mantle as the world’s creators, those who literally give birth to new life. Following the creation of sin in the Garden of Eden, somebody had to be there to instruct us on how to behave. Throughout our childhoods and beyond, our mothers help teach us right from wrong thus bridging the Creator role with that of a strong moral compass thus pulling the two tablets together.
A JCC member who called me after Asher was born said something that still rings in my ears. “It’s a good thing women give birth. Because men…we just aren’t strong enough.” As somebody who stood agape in a delivery room at Nisseki roughly one year ago, I gained a newfound appreciation for the sacrifice a mother endures in childbirth. Every day since, I have been continuously impressed at witnessing how mothers sustain a child physically, emotionally and spiritually. On this Shabbat and every Shabbat, thank you to all the mothers in our community for the unconditional love and support we can never possibly repay.
Family Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, May 13th
Dinner with Reservation: 7:00pm
Family Shabbat Parshat Emor
Saturday, May 14th
Mother’s Day Kiddush Sponsored by the Bodenheimer Family
Shabbat Parshat Bechukotai
Saturday, May 28th
Kiddush Sponsored by the Scheer Family in honor of Asher’s 1st Birthday
Lehrhaus Lecture Series presented by Jack Halpern
The Adventures of a 12-Language Polyglot — the joys and pains of learning a new language —
Jack Halpern serves as the Founder of the CJK Dictionary Institute and Director of the Japan Yiddish Club
Date: June 9th
Venue: In-Person at the JCC
Our community received a gracious letter of appreciation from World Jewish Relief for our efforts during their Ukraine Emergency Appeal. May peace and stability return to the region.
Yiddish Club with Jack Halpern: Meetings have started monthly in-person at the JCJ. Please contact Jack at email@example.com if you are interested to join. All levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. Much more than just language, the club enjoys exploring Yiddish culture as well.
Shabbat Parshat Emor
Candle Lighting: 6:19pm