Shabbat to Shabbat: Embracing Disability

Written by // Beth Schafer Categories D'var Torah

In this week’s Torah Portion, Yitro, we read the giving of the Ten Commandments. It is the bedrock of Jewish peoplehood as we adopt a set of laws and precepts that transformed the Israelites from a tribe to nation. A couple of months from now we will read from Torah a passage known as the Holiness Code. In a sense, it is an expanded version of the Ten Commandments and in it contains an important mitzvah that is worth taking note of this week. The Torah states, “Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind.” (Lev. 18:14) What we learn from this is the importance of taking care of those who have disabilities. We are, in fact, commanded to look out for those members of the community who are physically disadvantaged in some way.


Camp Jenny D'var

A D'var by Sinai teen and Camp Jenny counselor Rianna Saslow 

This will be my second year as a Camp Jenny counselor, and I know first-hand that Camp Jenny changes lives. Camp Jenny has given me so much. It has given me the opportunity to give back to my community and love every second of it. It has given me the chance to bond with the most loving and spirited campers I could imagine. But most of all, it has opened me up to an entirely new world I didn’t even know existed.


Shabbat to Shabbat: How Shabbat and Spaghetti Support our Teens

Written by // Beth Schafer Categories D'var Torah

When my daughter Hannah was applying for college and writing her essays to accompany her applications she was asked to write about a life changing experience. She chose without the blink of an eye to write about her experience working at Camp Jenny. For those of you unfamiliar with this program, Camp Jenny is held over Memorial Day weekend at Camp Coleman and is staffed entirely by our NFTY region’s (and Florida’s region as well) high school students. Camp Jenny is attended by inner-city children from Atlanta who work all year to earn the right to attend. It is a profound awakening for both groups of kids-ours learn that they are, in fact, living a life of privilege, and the children who attend learn about safety and security and most of all, FUN!


Shabbat to Shabbat: Confronting Darkness

Written by // Rabbi Samantha Shabman Categories D'var Torah

I always look towards February 2nd with excitement! It is none other than the long awaited holiday of Groundhog’s day. As you may know, Punxsutawney Phil crawls out of his hole. If he sees his shadow, winter weather will continue for six weeks.  If no shadow appears, spring is near. Although it has been beautiful and sunny in Atlanta, I still approached February 2nd with enthusiasm. I prayed that spring, and the hope and optimism that comes with the season, would be just around the corner. Unfortunately, Phil saw his shadow indicating that we have 6 more weeks of winter, and the coinciding darkness of the season.  


Shabbat to Shabbat: A Reason to Celebrate

Written by // Rabbi Ron M. Segal Categories D'var Torah

Put on your thinking caps and see if you can guess what each of the following things have in common:

  • Full House (TV Show)
  • Panera Bread
  • “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Whitney Houston song)
  • The Simpsons
  • Prozac J
  • Disposable Contact Lenses
  • The Princess Bride (one my all-time favorite films)

Know the answer?  Add one more thing – The Temple Sinai Preschool – and you’ll have a list of eight significant, impactful, and remarkable things that were created in 1987, all of which are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year!  

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