Shabbat Vayishlah 5784

After all the practical and emotional preparation that went into his encounter with Esav after 20 years of estrangement, you can imagine that Ya’akov figured he was entitled to some peace and quiet. The Torah narrates that this expectation is fulfilled: “Vayavo Ya’akov shalem ‘ir Shekhem–Jacob arrived safe in the city of Shekehm…” (Genesis 33:18). Of course, this shelemut, this wholeness, is short-lived. In just a few verses, his daughter Dina will be raped, and his sons will perpetrate a ruse that leads them to massacre the Shekhemites. In fact, Ya’akov never seems to experience extended tranquility.

So why does the Torah even bother to mention his shelemut, his sense of being full and complete, if it’s so fleeting? Maybe we are meant to appreciate moments like this even though they aren’t lasting. The briefest of respite is still worth celebrating in the midst of a tempest.

I’ve had difficulty getting motivated to sing for the last eight weeks. Since the attack of October 7, joy has not been at the forefront. But if you’ve attended any of the rallies or solidarity gatherings in support of Israel, you can’t miss the power of the music at the events. So with that as an inspiration, this week I’m beginning, as promised, my Shabbat morning musical warmup. Alternating with Rabbi Greene’s deep dive into the meaning of prayer, I’ll be helping us get in the mood for services by signing excerpts from Peuskei DeZimrah, the introductory Psalms. We will gather at a table in the ballroom at 9 AM and sing together. To help you get ready for what we’ll sing, check out these clips so the melodies will be in your minds.

Tov Lehodot

Rabbat Mahshavot

Ashrei mantra

Nava Tehila Halleluyah

Barkhi Nafshi


I hope you’ll join me!

Shabbat Shalom and Shalom al Yisrael,

Rabbi David Wise

Candle lighting: 4:10 PM
Torah Reading: Genesis 32:4-36:43
Haftarah: Ovadiah 1:1-21