On Fathers and Kings
Shabbat: prep pays off!

Happy Torah prep

Joyful news! My friends rabbi and rebbetzin had their daughter today. All are healthy, and mother and father are happy. May the One who blessed our ancestors bless my friend who has given birth, along with the child born to her, with good fortune and length of days.

This means I don't have to prepare the Torah reading for the second day of Rosh Hashanah, because the rabbi will be there to read it himself. Hooray!

However, I just got tapped to lead services tonight and tomorrow, so I need to learn all of Ki Tavo by tomorrow morning. Oh, and prepare a discussion on it, though honestly that's the easy part. The portion includes instructions to inscribe words of Torah on stones, and to build an altar of whole stones and make wholeness offerings there (the word for "whole," shlemot, relates to the word shalom, which we translate as "peace"); plus there's the reminder at the end that we thereby become the people of our God: there's plenty to discuss in these three aliyot (sections of the portion). Now I just have to learn to read it.

Thank heavens for this site, which shows the portion in vowel-less Torah-style script; I just printed these pages, so I can practice reading it without vowels once I get a little more fluent with it.

Shabbat shalom! If you need a reason to jump for joy this Shabbat, think of my friend whose labor was speedy and safe and whose new daughter now lives and breathes.