Parsha Bo January 27, 2007 Rabbi Moshe P. Weisblum, PhD
Good Shabbos! The extraordinary story that we read from the Torah this morning deals with the end of the ten plaques - specifically focusing on the last three plagues in the saga of the exodus from Egypt.
This week’s biblical chapter, parsha Bo, highlights undoubtedly the special traits that we have in our genes. The traits of being resourceful, motivating, inspiring, and courageous. With all of those hundreds of years of difficulties in Egypt, our ancestors prevailed and overcame their adversity. We derive from this biblical chapter the ability to recognize our potential and our capabilities of being a strong and determined people to carry on. From the earliest times in Egypt till today, we survived and triumphed against all odds.
Here in our Kneseth Israel extended family, we share victories on Shabbat, special moments of individual and communal prayer and singing with adults and children, of all ages. We gather weekly, as is our tradition, to thank the Almighty for the gift of life and the daily love and miracles that we experience.
I would like to share some nachos with you. One of our beloved members, Susanna Carr, the daughter of Glenn and Ytta Carr and the granddaughter of the Carr and Halpern families, life's story was featured on this weeks Baltimore Jewish times front page. There is a deeply moving six-page article about Susanna. I highly recommend you read it because it points to how Susanna’s special family and how they deal positively with life's challenges. Our sincere blessings to the families. May Hashem give you the strength to continue on to do mitzvah with conviction and sensitivity. We, at Kneseth Israel should also feel proud of the reputation for being a kind, supportive, and compassionate synagogue. The article talks about our inclusiveness and humanity for all.
Additionally, today we celebrate another example of tenacity and success. Today’s Kiddush is given by the Strumpf family and we thank them--It is given in honor of Katie Strumpf's first published book entitled: "I Never Signed Up For This!: An Upfront Guide to Dealing with Cancer at a Young Age". It is Katie's personal story of overcoming the battle of cancer as a child, diagnosed with cancer at age 11. This wonderful book is filled with heartwarming stories of her experiences and the lessons she would like to share to help others battling cancer. As the book reviews state, "Strumpf's upbeat attitude and passion for life shines through her writing, and serves as an inspiration....". Indeed, we are blessed to have such special people here.
In Parsha Bo, we see how G-d tests watches and protects us. As it states in the book of proverbs, Mishlei 3:4 "And find favor and high regard in the eyes of G-d and people. One who is good to Heaven and good to people is a righteous person who is good. (kiddushin 40a)". May we all be infused with energy and wisdom to deal with life, enabling us to pursue and attain our goals. Shabbat shalom.