Rabbi's Shabbat Message
Dear STOCS Friend:
The Book of Mishlei teaches: חֲכַם לֵב יִקַּח מִצְוֺת The wise of heart takes mitzvot. Rashi points out: כגון משה רבינו שכל ישראל נתעסקו בביזת מצרים והוא נתעסק במצוה This alludes to our teacher, Moses, for all Israel were busy with the plunder of Egypt, and he was busy with the commandments. Moses was well aware many Jews were going to the Egyptians and politely asking for gold and silver from their former masters.
Rav Shteinman quotes the Sefer Chassidim 105: כל מצוה שאין לה דורש ואין מי שיבקש אותה תדרשנה לפי שהיא כמת מצוה: Every commandment which has no seeker and no one to search her out, seek it because it is as the deed of caring for the dead. Rav Steinman continues by pointing out that the verb “Take” instead of “fulfilling” mitzvot is very telling.
In our Parsha the Torah says וַיִּקַּח מֹשֶׁה אֶת עַצְמוֹת יוֹסֵף עִמּוֹ that Moshe took the bones of Yosef with him. We must see our reason for existence in this life. Moses did want just to fulfill a mitzvah, he desired to take advantage of his understanding of the situation and attend to the remains of Yosef. By doing so, he acquired a mitzvah that was not accompanied by monetary advantage. The Jews received financial gain from the Egyptians albeit via Divine decree.
The moral from this episode, a reward need not be financial or material. Sometimes the satisfaction of doing the right thing is worth more than any dividend that may be forthcoming from an investment. Let us continue to serve Hashem in the way of Moshe. שֶׁלֹּא עַל מְנָת לְקַבֵּל פְּרָס and not have the expectation of receiving a reward for the sake of a mitzvah.
This Shabbas will be quite frigid outside. However, join us in the Shul, the warmth of Shabbas and the teffilot will warm us up quickly. To all: good Shabbas.
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.