Rabbi's Shabbat Message

Dear STOCS Friend:


We find ourselves caught in a whirlpool of ups, downs, joy and sorrow.  Last week we marked the 74th anniversary of Israel and were abruptly shocked by the terrible terrorist attack in Elad.  Rabbi Mordechai Rogow writes: “There are times and periods when the world dawns upon us like an ocean filled with blood and tears.”   I might qualify the statement somewhat and point out there are many days when the sky is blue and the Jew lives and thrives in his/her service of Hashem.


However, Rabbi Rogow informs us, that regardless of our situation, the mitzvah to rejoice must always be on our minds.  Our faith in Hashem must always be one of absolute trust in good times as well as bad.  Our joy during times of sorrow and difficulty must possess the same fiery feeling as experienced when joyful.


Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes: Kierkegaard once wrote: “It takes moral courage to grieve. It takes religious courage to rejoice.” Rabbi Sacks continues: “I believe that with all my heart. So, I am moved by the way Jews, who know what it is to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, still see joy as the supreme religious emotion. Every day we begin our morning prayers with a litany of thanks, that we are here, with a world to live in, family and friends to love and be loved by, about to start a day full of possibilities, in which, by acts of loving-kindness, we allow God’s presence to flow through us into the lives of others. Joy helps heal some of the wounds of our injured, troubled world.”


This week we read about the Jewish holidays observed during the year.  Please God, as we count the days up to Shavuot, let them be filled with joy and happiness free of heartache and misery.  As we approach Shavuot may we be blessed with a similar level of unity the Jewish people experienced over three thousand three hundred years ago:  כאיש אחד בלב אחד as if we were all one person with one heart!


I hope to see you in shul this Shabbas!


Shabbat Shalom!


Rabbi Evan Shore


Live the Jewish calendar joyously at every age and stage of life. Sha'arei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse offers opportunities for congregants from toddlers to seniors. We hold a daily minyan every morning and evening.


Experience and enjoy the beauty, meaning, and relevance of our traditional services. Beginners are always welcome!


From rejoicing with the Torah to sharing festive meals, our Congregation is open to all who seek personal fulfillment and a deeper understanding of Judaism.


Rabbi Evan Shore teaches a range of classes from Basic Judaism and Beginner Hebrew to advanced Talmud and Halachah classes.


Visiting scholars, guest lecturers and the members of our Congregation give insight on topics ranging from medicine, law and literature to history and the current situation in Israel.


Sha'arei Torah Orthodox Congregation of Syracuse also offers a variety of children’s programs from Tot Shabbat to Senior NCSY. Rabbi Shore is also a beloved teacher at the Syracuse Hebrew Day school and he leads the junior congregation and a wide array of children’s activities.