March 12, 2021
The purpose of this weekly column is simple. It is to use the lens of the Torah to highlight something about our San Antonio Jewish community, as well as to elaborate how our Jewish Federation is fulfilling its responsibility to ensure our community’s sustainability for future generations.
Therefore, when a congregation, or any Jewish agency, reaches out asking for help, and for a very specific type of help at that, it is unquestionably the Jewish Federation’s responsibility to cast a wider net across our community, and to ask the entire community to please support their request.
Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg (Harav Aryeh ben Ada), Rabbi Emeritus at Congregation Rodfei Sholom, is in serious condition at Houston’s MD Anderson, and the request from the congregation is to please Daven (pray) and recite Tehillim (Psalms) for his refuah shleimah (a complete and speedy recovery). A good explanation behind the custom of reciting Psalms can be found HERE, along with a link to the traditional Mi Sheberach prayer (with translation and transliteration), which can be found HERE.
In fact, in this week’s double Torah portion, Vayakhel-Pehudei, we read about the honored role that our community’s artisans had in the construction of Gd’s holy dwelling in the desert. The ability for these artists to simultaneously stir emotion and thought through a physical or musical creation has been a source of great strength to the Jewish community throughout our history. These unique artists are recognized as the “wise-hearted” (Exodus 35:25), and it is King David, the traditional author and composer of the Book of Psalms, who is repeatedly portrayed with a lyre, highlighting his musical expertise.
Tehillim are words of Torah that were written to be recited. They possess a rhythm and cadence that have earned them the moniker “David’s Songs”. Psalm 92 starts with the words Mizmor Shir (“A song for Shabbat”) and Psalm 23 starts “A Psalm for David…”.
So this week, as we conclude the reading of the Book of Exodus, and recite the traditional phrase, hazak, hazak v’nithazek (“be strong, be strong, and we will be strengthened”), let us also add our thoughts and prayers for Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg and sing a Psalm in thanks for our wise-hearted ancestors who instilled in us an eternal appreciation for all the members of our community, no matter their skill, their trade, their intellectual capacity, or their age. Each person brings something to offer, and for that the Jewish Federation is grateful. We are…
HERE for you.
HERE for our community.
HERE for our Future.