Rabbi's Shabbat Shalom Message

Dear STOCS Friend:


Ruvain’s actions are many times overlooked.  The brothers conspired to kill Joseph due to their deep jealousy and hatred for him and his dreams. They perceived Joseph as desirous of “ruling” over them. In response, they strategize his death.  When the plan comes close to fruition, the Torah teaches:

וַיִּשְׁמַע רְאוּבֵן וַיַּצִּלֵהוּ מִיָּדָם וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא נַכֶּנּוּ נָפֶשׁ:

Ruvain heard and he rescued him from their hand. He said:  We will not strike him fatally!


The Midrash comments:


אמר ראובן אני בכור ואין הסרחון תלוי אלא בי


Ruvain said:  I am the firstborn, and I only am to blame for this crime.


Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin points out the greatness of Ruvain. Had the brothers truly killed Joseph, Ruvain would occupy his deserved position of leadership because he was the firstborn.  Ironically, he interceded on behalf of his younger brother. Consequently,  Joseph’s dreams had the chance to come true and occupy the position of leadership. Rabbi Sorotzkin says: “As the real firstborn Ruvain regarded it as his duty to do what was right even if it that meant his double portion and kingship would go to somebody else.”


The great lesson that we learn from here,  someone who is in a position of power must never think that his position is more important than his duty and obligation.


I wish all a Happy Thanksgiving.  I look forward to seeing you in shul on Shabbos!


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.