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President's message Metzora 4.8.22

Dear friends,

Parshat Metzora continues with the rules of tzara'at and Lashon Harah, but I was very happy to see that Rabbi Sacks is beginning to concentrate on the positives in Metzora. We often learn that the Torah only delivers punishments, diseases and the like after it has provided a cure or a remedy.  

We have already learned about Lashon HaRah and now we can turn to Lashon Hatov. Rabbi Sacks equates Lashon Hatov with praise, but differentiates between praising efforts and praising gifts. Gifts are innate - their presence is passive. Effort is more praiseworthy because work is required.

We learn in Mishna Avot to "raise up many disciples." Rabbi Sacks argues that accumulating disciples is easy: it doesn't take much to make followers, who are uncritical devotees. It is much harder to praise your followers' efforts to become creative intellects in their own right. According to Hillel in the same Mishna, “he who does not increase his knowledge loses it." Praising efforts to learn, grow and think, not simply to passively accept, is the lesson for all relationships, both for the teacher and the student. A little praise goes a long way. (The complete dvar torah  is here.)

• • • 

In terms of praiseworthy acts, my personal thanks and gratitude this week go to Margie Golden, for her very generous sponsorship of the air purifier that was installed this week in the kiddush room. A gift that benefits us all, and allows us to enjoy the new chandeliers in the kiddush room with increased comfort and security.

Pesach is just around the corner. There are still seats available at the Sedarim in the Shul, led by Rabbi and Shternie Raskin, but please make reservations as soon as possible to ensure your spot. All of the Passover links are on the shul website: www.bnaiavraham.org.

All who are available to make the weekday minyanim, please attend at 7:45 am for Shacharit and 8 pm for Maariv. Many depend on the minyan to say Kaddish, and appreciate the opportunity to daven with a minyan, especially after the long period when we could not convene in person. Your participation is important; thanks.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Shul on Shabbat and next week for Pesach, and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Shabbat Shalom and a Chag Kasher V'Sameach.

Steven Inker

Mon, May 23 2022 22 Iyyar 5782