Monthly Archives: June 2016

Jun 16

Shabbat – 17th/18th June 2016

By SAMS IT Administrator | Dvar Torah

To Be and to Become Grandparents by Rabbi Claudio

We all have heard the old joke about the grandson who, when asked about where his grandparents live, he replies: “They live at the airport.”  It seems that this reaction of the kid is expressing a common perception that he has about his grandparents, which is a vague, confused idea about them. They are very far removed from him. They seem to play a sporadic role in his life.

Susy and I have been blessed at this moment of our lives with seven fabulous grandchildren, and each one of them has been a font of unending spiritual joy. Our nearness to them, living closely their growth, experiencing their physical and spiritual development, is a source of immense joy for us.

What does it mean and what can one expect to reach when becoming a grandparent?

1. For one, it means to crown one’s life with a certain inner accomplishment. To see them around you and think that they are carrying not just your name, but also your ideals, your traditions and your values, is a wonderful feeling. What better knowledge than to be aware of living your future through them.

2. Moreover, in a certain way, they are our spiritual continuation.  They are our immortality since we live in a way through them. In this way, one has passed on to the future and has permitted to forge a connection between our past, all what our parents and grandparents have inspired in us, and, what we pass on. The Olympic torch of that rich past is passed on so that they can now run another generation with a strong foundation. Thus, through us, and because of us, our grandchildren reinforce in us the idea that our lives are having meaning and purpose. Does our life end with us or does it continue through them?

Perfect love sometimes does not come until we are blessed with grandchildren.

Grandparents hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our
hearts forever. ~ Author Unknown

Susy and I want to express our gratitude for the many years we spent together, sharing moments of true family feeling, moments of prayer and study. You all made our days in St. Albans truly wonderful and unforgettable. May God bless you all with inner peace and may you grow from strength to strength.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Claudio Kaiser Blueth

Jun 09

Shabbat – 10th/11th June 2016

By SAMS IT Administrator | Blogs

This week, as many of you probably know, Rachel and I are expecting our 2nd child. Just like Toby, this one is taking its sweet time, but as a wise person once told me, the baby is exactly on time, we just expected it early!

But it raises for me some thoughts about this week’s parsha, as we start the fourth book of the Torah, Bemidbar, Numbers. The narrative begins with the Israelites still encamped at Mount Sinai as God commands a census to be taken. Why does God need us to be counted? Surely God knows how many of us there were, so why ask for a count? What are the things that we count in our lives? Hours we work? Sleep? Money we make? Books we read? Why do we count things?

One commentary is that we count the things that matter in our lives, or things that are precious to us. It is not enough to have thoughts or feelings to something or someone, such as a spouse, sibling, or child, or a favourite book, card, or perhaps a toy. We take the time to tell them, write to them, or in the case of objects, we arrange them or count them, or to put it in a different way, we give them our attention.
Th e tradition thus is teaching us that even though God surely knew how many of us there were, there was a need to show us and not just take it for granted. We are shown the love and shown the way we should maintain our relationships. Do not simply assume they know, show them. Don’t just count them, make them count!

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Rafi

Jun 02

Shabbat – 3rd/4th June 2016

By SAMS IT Administrator | Blogs

Parashat B’hukotai (Leviticus 26-27) is famous for the long stretch of curses (26:10-46), which is read barely audibly, because of the terrifying content of the tochehah (reproach, curse). The sense of abandonment by, and distance from, God is overwhelming. One thing that struck me in these passages was how much of the suffering is subjective and psychological: the devastating objective situation is the result or reflection of a mental and spiritual predicament.

Maybe one of the most powerful verses that describe this situation of a person in this respect reads as follows: “I will cast a faintness into their hearts in the land of their enemies. The sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight. Fleeing as though from the sword, they shall fall though none pursues.”

Imagine the emotional condition of a person who feels as if he is persecuted by some imaginary force, the sensation of being controlled by certain forces out of a sense of guilt or constant sensation that some spirits are persecuting him or old memories from the past, which recur every so often. The leaf is too real for him and overwhelming scary. These are surely personal and psychological fears that threaten the inner stability of any person – worse than a real enemy or a natural disaster – since they are identified through our eyes and last a specific time.

The divine blessings of justice and compassion and the sense of finding meaning and direction in our lives, will bestow a true sense of inner peace.

Peace, then, is not so much an eschatological reward dropping down from above as it is a state of harmonious living for which we bear responsibility.

May we all be blessed with true blessings of love and family unity, living remarkable memories of the past and walking together towards the future with confidence and trust.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Claudio

I would also like to wish Adam Axelrod a Mazal Tov on his Bar Mitzvah. Join me as we come together celebrate with Adam and his family this Shabbat.