I traveled to California earlier this month to spend some time with my father in LA. I took the opportunity to visit my brother and his family in San Jose... and since I knew my way to San Jose, I decided to visit some of my favorite Virtual Tour clients in Palo Alto.
I joined the Moldaw Residences seniors for a fun Kabbalat Shabbat and a delicious Shabbat dinner, meeting them personally for the first time after having developed a 10-month-long relationship over Zoom. They are so much fun and a great time was had by all.
On Saturday morning, I had the honor of spending Shabbat services at Etz Chayim Congregation in Palo Alto. They had participated in several of my virtual tours over the past few months and we are planning an in-person tour next year .
Both at Moldaw Residences and at Etz Chayim Congregation, I gave the Dvar Torah, a short talk relating to the week's Torah portion, and in this case it was Dvarim, the first part of the book of Deuteronomy.
One of the things that fascinates me about the Torah, those Five Books of Moses, is that I can ALWAYS find something I can relate to when researching what others, more learned and wiser than me, have thought and written about the weekly portions. The insights drawn from these ancient stories and their interpretations are brilliant. Sometimes I agree, at other times I don't, but the wisdom is there for anyone to learn from.
The book of Deuteronomy, (Dvarim in Hebrew), begins with Moses standing on a high mountain gazing over the Jordan Valley, longingly looking into the Promised Land. He has been told by G-d that he will not enter the Land and that he must prepare the Children of Israel for THEIR entry, without him. How does one do that? What drama.
And what does it all mean?
I invite you to listen to my talk, my Dvar Torah, as I relate this emotional Biblical story to today's events, to my work as a tour guide and my dream of peace. Enjoy!