12 Jan Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Vay’chi 5777
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Vay’chi which brings to a close the lives of Jacob and Joseph and with it the book of B’reishit, the book of Genesis. It is always interesting to me that the book of B’reishit comes to an end so close to the close of the secular new year, either a little before or a little after, because for me they both have the same effect. The changing of the calendar year and the finishing of a book of the Torah both act as reminders to me of how quickly time passes. Sharon and I say to each other regularly that the days may be long, but the weeks and month fly by and every reminder of that fact is useful because it encourages me to slow down when I can and appreciate the many blessings in my life. Writing 2017 on checks and chanting “Chazak Chazak V’nitchazek/Strength Strength and Be Strengthened,” as we do when we complete a book of the Torah, are those reminders for me. Hopefully this Shabbat they can be reminders for you as well.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik