It's the first Shabbat of the New Year! Here is trusting that during this Common Era New Year you are blessed along with your family and friends with health and happiness. It couldn't hurt...right?
This week we start into the book of Exodus or in Hebrew "The Names". The Torah links Genesis to Exodus with the word "And", "And these are the names of the Children of Israel who were coming to Egypt with Jacob, each man and his household came." Clearly the Torah wants to set the stage that the people came even after the death of Joseph who died at the conclusion of our reading last week.
Why is this important?
Because we get the sense that as long as Joseph was alive the Egyptians treated his people with respect. But, once he was gone, the attitude changed. The Torah says, the People of Israel prospered, increased and became strong, "...and the land became filled with them".
The next line says, "A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know of Joseph." The rabbis tell us this may not have been a new king at all but that Pharaoh made the choice to ignore any debt owed to Joseph and his people for saving Egypt and the world from the seven year famine.
If that is the case it begs the question, "Who do you trust?".
Sure we can trust our own intelligence, our ability to make honest decisions. We can trust ourselves but can we trust others? And, while we're at it can we really trust G-d even if, on our money it says, "In G-d We Trust"?
Trust in G-d is believing, knowing, internalizing that all that the Almighty does for us if for our good. It is knowing that the Almighty loves us greater than any love one human being can have for another person. He totally knows and understands us and our personal situations. Only the Almighty has the power to impact your situation. He has a track record. You can rely on Him. Everything the Almighty does for you is a gift; there are no strings attached.
How do we strengthen our relationship with G-d? Perhaps we should first acknowledge all of the things He has done for us? So often we just go about our daily routine without thinking about the marvels around us. From the air we breath to the water we drink to the food we eat...all of it comes from G-d. If that is the case wouldn't it make sense to stop from time to time and offer a prayer of thanks? No, not just once a year at Thanksgiving or once a week on Shabbat...but daily and sometimes by the hour.
While we can be beset by trials it's difficult to, all of a sudden, to call on G-d for help. How do you do that when you don't have a relationship with Him?
So, this Shabbat why not make it a point to consider all that we have and then say, "Thank you and I truly do trust in you.."
It can alter your point of view.
Adas Israel will hold our monthly worship service on Friday, 19 January at 7:15PM and then our Midrash (Bible Study Session) on Saturday the 20th at 10AM.
See you in Shul!