Rabbi Weisblum's Kabbalat Shabbos SpeechFriday, November 14, 2003
Last Thursday night in the sanctuary, I had a rehearsal with a Bat Mitzvah girl. At the very end, while we were about to take some pictures with the Torah, we gathered together with the family and the Bat Mitzvah. We were about to open the two tablets of the Ten Commandments which are placed at the front of our ark. One fellow was opening the left side and I was opening the right side. Then suddenly, the right side fell on me. I understand that it was a few hundred pounds of marble. And by a great miracle and kindness from G-d I was holding it in my hand and my shoulder and no one got hurt--we were all spared. The girl was miraculously saved though she was standing so close. But I could not hold this heavy marble for more than a few seconds. When I could hold it no longer, it would have fall and be smashed to pieces. So here are some comments made by various people who were there.
"You are the second Moses who broke the tablet…"
"Rabbi, you have a golden opportunity, once in your life, to deliver a sermon about smashing the tablet…."
A little boy named Steven said,
"Rabbi, do you think that some people here are worshipping idols?"
The side of the Ten Commandments that was broken was the right side, which contains the commandments of the relationship between man and God.
During the Saturday services I made a special Thanksgiving blessing, I thanked God for saving me, and more importantly the Bat Mitzvah girl. It is always good to do some soul searching to see if there is anything we can do to improve our relationship with God.
Perhaps now, before Thanksgiving, it is a time for us to think of what exactly our goal in life is, and to check the relationship between our Creator and ourselves. Are we concentrating too much on the material concerns of this world? In which way, can each one of us improve our relationship with God?
If we look at the Torah portion we see that the relationship between Abraham and God had ups and downs. But the name, Abraham, comes from two words, Av--and Ha’am. These words mean "Father of the Nations". Abraham was always looking to improve his relationship with God. May I suggest to each and every one of us to think of ways to improve our communion with Him. During the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving, as we thank Him for this great country and the freedoms we enjoy, we have to remind ourselves always that G-d is part of this wonderful country.
Let me conclude with a blessing from our sages, "Please God, give us the kindness to hear with compassion, to offer support, loving comfort and care, give us the courage to do what is needed, the wisdom to choose what is right and most fair, give us the wisdom to see what is possible, give us the faith that will help pave the way for a present that is hopeful, a future that is peaceful--give us the heart to bring joy to each day. Amen."