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usurping power

Friday, 10 September, 2021 - 1:37 pm

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the new year. This Shabbos, the Shabbos between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, is known as Shabbos Shuva. The Torah portion that we read this week, begins with the word vayelech - and he went. Moses went to speak to the Jewish people.

The commentaries question why does it tell us that Moses went to speak and not just that he spoke to the Jewish people?

Joshua was already appointed as the next leader. Moses felt that he shouldn't usurp Joshua's power. Vayelech - and he went, shows that this was an active behavior and not business as usual, like the other times that Moses spoke to the Jewish people.

Perhaps that's one of the messages we can take from Rosh Hashanah. We've taken on good resolutions, things that we should do better. We need to make sure that our becoming better does not come at the expense of those around us.

Several years ago, I was encouraging a community member to continue coming to Shabbos day services, seeing that he enjoyed it yet was considering stopping to attend. When he mentioned that his wife did not appreciate him going to services, I told him that when he is able to come, he needs to ensure that his going to services inspires him to be a better husband, a better father, and more involved with the family the rest of that day.

Why do services need to directly connect with being a better husband?

The concern was that services seemed to be usurping the power of family. This way, coming to services will enhance the family energy.

When you review your new year resolutions, make sure they are also enhancing the experience of the people around you. Ensure that your good deeds enhance the power of others. In doing so, they will also become more invigorated.

Have a great Shabbos and may you be sealed for a good year!

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman

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