Itamar is covered in white for the second time this year! It is a beautiful Rosh Chodesh delight and of course we enjoy prancing in the snow- much of it untouched because of the rural area we live in.
The winter storm has been a great blessing for Israel as the sea of the Galilee rose over 5 centimeters today alone. Our town residents had a great day enjoying the snow with their families. The Shomron Regional Council is hosting a snowman contest. Participants in the contest just have to make their snowman and send pictures in. The winners of the contest will get three tickets to a concert being held this week in the Shomron. This time we were fortunate that our electricity held out and we are able to enjoy a nice cozy warm home as well.
Enjoy the pictures taken at the Dead Sea. Our featured photo is one of the Shitah tree (Acacia) which grows in the Dead Sea region connecting to this week’s portion – much of the furniture in the Tabernacle : ark, table, alters, and wooden planks were built from Acacia wood. If you look at a map of Israel you can see how close Yerushalayim is to the area where the Acacia trees flourish.
Leah’s blog- This morning as I picked up my mom’s glass Pyrex cup in order to measure boiling water I realized how helpful this vessel is and pondered how I managed without it all these years. I looked at her other handy basins, bowls, containers, and utensils that I inherited -her passing was only three months ago, and in that time many things have been dawning on me. My mom z”l left me other keylim (vessels) as well. You need keylim for soaking beans and keylim for storing your cherry tomatoes (not in the fridge), keylim for spices and keylim for salt and sugar but when someone has the strength and fortitude to do something- that concept in torah terminology is called Keylim, to have kochot nefesh- strength of spirit– a legacy not taken for granted. She gave me keylim- components of life that needed a place for my seichel (intellect) and a place at times just for my heart. The trials and hardships and joys of settling this place couldn’t have happened without those keylim.Hashem commands us in this parsha to bring all the earthly elements into His home in keylim – not just physical parts but to truly serve him with all the keylim, spiritual and physical. These are the ingredients of life. We know that when Yaakov Avinu was about to enter the Land of Israel with his family he had to go back and bring pachim ketanim, little vessels. We can learn out from that that even things that seem little, like your mother who babysits at the age of 80, who asks the name of every person, adult and baby so she can know what to call them or if your mother makes a point of getting dressed up for Shabbat no matter what- things that seem little but you take them with you -and that’s the home you make for your family. Terumah is a gift of love, optional and every person decides what to bring. Mom’s terumah to me has been vessels of many kinds and they serve now the next generation in our home that G-d willing will be a sanctuary that will contain spiritualism and bounty and kochot nefesh for the challenges of the next part of our time to come.
Watch Rabbi Goldsmith’s new Torah for the week.