Torah is read when?
The parasha is begun Saturday afternoon, repeated Monday and Thursday morning and expanded Saturday morning.
It is also read on holidays including Rosh Chodesh.
Why Monday, Thursday and Saturday? What is the reason given in the story?
In addition to the answer in the story, those were market day when people were already gathered together and
could take the time to hear the communal reading.
It was Sarah’s idea for Abraham to have a child with Hagar. How do you feel about her sending Hagar and her son away once she had her own son?
Why do you think God told Abraham to listen to Sarah’s request?
Have you had family members move far away? How does it change the family?
If you stay in touch, how do you do that?
Jews have been thrown out of many countries.
Imagine being told that you have to leave the only home you know. How do you feel?
Can you think of things that you might do to try to stay?
If you left, why might you want to return?
How do you feel about helping others stay in their home?
If you are ready: Let's talk about immigration.
In a traditional congregation, the story of the birth of Isaac and the banishment of Hagar and Ishmael is read on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, Genesis 21. On the second days the Akeida, the near sacrifice of Isaac, Genesis 22, is read.
What are the similarities between these stories?
What are the differences?
Why do you think we read them both for Rosh Hashanah?
If Ishmael had not been sent away, would the Akeida have been the same test for Abraham?
Have there been times when you were sure of the outcome for an event and it did not happen? (a performance, a test, a game, a race,) What occurred to make the change?
Are there times when you are confused about your situation and can’t seem to find an answer? It seems like a lose –lose proposition? What helps you to open your eyes? What do you do or to whom to you turn to find guidance?
PARENTS – PARENT SUPPORTED CORNER
If you are a parent, make a list of blessings you want for your child (think what you want his/her life to be like 10/15/20 years in the future).
Now mark them in order of importance.
For which of those can you influence the outcome?
Until what age do you think you will have the most influence?
Consider how you will react to those things that do not evolve in the manner you would like?
If you are still being supported by a parent, make a list of the things with which you would like to be blessed (think what you want your life to be like 10/15/20 years in the future).
Mark them in order of importance to you.
Mark them in order of importance to what you imagine they would be for your parent(s).
For what blessings do(es) your parent(s) still influence the outcome? Explain how.
Explain how you influence the outcome of these blessings.
Ezra says that Hagar found truth.
What is truth? How do you know when you have found it?
Can there be more than one side to truth?
Mama says she knows what kind of person Ezra will be. Project yourself ten years into the future,
what kind of person do you imagine you will be? What would you like people to be saying about you?
MUSIC OF CHAPTER 2
IN YOUR TRUTH
In Your Truth is composed from verses of Tehillim, psalms. Psalms are found in the section of Tanakh called Ketuvim, Writings. It is the longest section of Ketuvim. There are 150 psalms. The Hebrew word, Tehillim, comes from the root hey-lamed-lamed, meaning praise. Tehillim are songs of praise. The word psalm comes from the Greek or Latin meaning to play a stringed instrument or the twang of a harp. When the Septuagint was written, Tehillim was called Psalterion, a reference to the instrument that accompanied the songs. Hence in church one might find a psalter or hymnal.
Psalms are not considered to be prayer or petition although they sometimes read as such.Rather, they signify “an exercise for one’s inner self, which is thereby penetrated anew with the perception and acknowledgement of certain truths so that our judgment and evaluation of things may become more correct.” (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, The Hirsch Psalms, Feldheim Publisher, Jerusalem ISRAEL, 1997. pg 107).
That truth is one’s awareness of God’s nearness. That is to say, if we are humble enough to accept that there is a power greater than humankind, the power of the Divine is open to us for its mere acknowledgement.
Psalm 86 specifically addresses the need for spiritual solace at a time of attack and near destruction. It expresses gratitude for patience, for mercy, for loving-kindness and for truth.