Walk the Talk

We stand in solidarity with the international community as we renounce the Islamist terror attacks on a French magazine which left 12 dead, and a second terror attack against France’s Jewish community. We stand in solidarity with France and its Jewish community at this difficult time. We pray that the outrage of the people of France and good people across Europe leads to an awakening of the dangers of Islamist extremism. May they be guided by the wisdom to implement policies that protect the Jewish people in their lands.

Mitzvah of the Week:
“Walk the Talk”
Engage each aspect of human nature – your own and others –
in ways that make you a source of blessing.

Each service, when we chant the Prayers for Healing, we sing this line: “May the source of strength who blessed the ones before us help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing.” What does it mean to make our lives a blessing? In Genesis 12:2-3, God tells Abraham: “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing…”

In the last book of Torah, we learn that walking in God’s ways is the pathway to becoming a blessing. In Deuteronomy 26:17, Moses tells the Israelites: “You have affirmed this day that Adonai is your God, that you will walk in God’s ways, that you will observe God’s laws and commandments, and you will obey God.” In other words, by observing the ethical teachings of Torah – how we treat one another, our environment, the stranger, the poor – is how we become a blessing.

Most of us behave this way. We are kind to those around us, we attempt to bring comfort and joy to those in our lives, we are generous to those in need. So what would change if you were consciously doing these things rather than automatically doing them? I expect we would be doing more and better.

This week may you consciously “walk the talk,” leading you to a week of blessings and a Shabbat of peace.

​Rabbi Debbie Israel