Larchmont Temple Chevra Torah

Questioning faith in the parsha

Jane Brandes

One response to “Jane Brandes

  1. Jane Brandes September 26, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Last chevra of summer–Sept. 24th, 2011, Parshah Nitzavim, Deut. 29, led by Harley Frank.

    Some thoughts I had after talking with Harley following the chevra discussion—

    When God moves over the Garden of Eden and calls to Adam—“Where are you?”, God is not asking Adam for a physical location, Harley says—God is asking him to take stock, to answer where he stands, on his path of life. “Hineni,” replies Adam—‘This is where I now stand and I am open to God from this place.’

    For me, the shofar blasts we will hear—stirring and urgent–could be God’s voice, asking all of us, and each of us, as He did Adam, where we are. At chevra, members
    shared the many ways that the familiar melodies, prayers, our community, small and large, family and memories of family envelop us as we pray together, and experiencing all this, I always feel a return to who I am, a sense of my own identity.

    And yet each year we say “Hineni” from a different place. The Torah parshot yield new meanings to us each year, because we need them to, because of our changing experiences, our passages.

    When we hear the shofar punctuate the somnolence of summer, feel the goose bumps on our arms, we hear the call to get to the business of our finite lives. May we all have the resolve of “Hineni” on our lips, and in our hearts.

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