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RABBI'S COMMENTARY

                 

Ekev: An Interview with Moshiach

by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

 

“And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

--Deut. 11:19

            The Hall of the Seventh Heaven was paved with sapphire-stone, like a vision of clarity, and the walls were lined with carnelian. I followed the directions that the Angel of the Heavenly Gates gave me: “Straight, straight, five minutes”—and was soon standing before an oaken door, a deeply-polished dark wood that nonetheless did not hide the scratches and gouges in its surface. I wondered why it was not better maintained. A brass name plate read MOSHIACH BEN/BAT DAVID.

            I knocked at the door—knowing I was about to meet Moshiach, the Anointed One whose job was to save humanity, made me a bit dizzy—and a soft, female voice said, “Tee’kanase—enter, O Son of Man.”

            The door opened without a sound or a squeak. There, seated at a well-worn desk—copier, desktop, cellphone all within easy reach—was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her eyes were sea-green; they caught my attention immediately. And her hair was black, piled on her head in a businesslike fashion.

            “Madame—Moshiach?” I stammered; for a talker like me, it was hard to get the words out.

            “Just Moshiach,” she said, pursing her lips, “I dislike titles, but I have no other name. ‘Bat-David’ is so—so—limiting, somehow. David is important—I spoke with him yesterday—but he had his issues. Don’t get me started.”

            We sat in silence for a while—too long a while.

            “Well?” she asked, still patient but a bit snappish, “Have you no questions for me? Why it’s taking so long for me to come, for instance?” Her tone was sharp, and she tapped impatiently on the desk with her nails. I noticed that they were blood-red, except for the pinky, which was blue-and-white.

            “A woman,” I said, “after all these years, all the prayers and hopes, for heaven’s sakes, you’re a woman!”

            “Sorry to disappoint you,” she returned, “but I am neither man nor woman; not child, nor animal; not even an insect.”

            “You—are—?” I asked.

            “Pure spirit,” she said, “When the time comes for me to mount my steed—just a small white she-donkey, but very sweet—God will decide what my earthly identity is to be. I will become mortal. No Son- or Daughter-of-God business; that applies to all humankind. You are all Children of God. Right now, you see me as a woman, but, I assure you, it’s an illusion caused by God. Other questions?”

            “Suffering,” I said, “how can you defend it?”

            “It is not for me to defend,” she said, “but rather to give all Creation hope and strength to overcome adversity. A great deal of suffering is man against man, or men usurping powers they should not possess, and using their might to inflict pain on those they hate. That is not God; that is free will misused.”

            “Train accidents?” I asked, “Cars colliding? Hurricanes destroying millions of dollars’ worth of property?”

            “The first two are mechanical failures,” she responded, “if people wish to enjoy technology, they must include safety cutoffs. And hurricanes—the world is designed in such a manner that the same slight breeze that cools your forehead on a hot summer day can, under the wrong conditions, become a raging windstorm. And don’t get me started about Global Warming. She gazed off for a second. “Yes. Well. Another dozen babies just died of excessive heat in Delhi. You cannot lay that at God’s feet.”

            She perused a large grandfather-clock that stood in a corner. “I have an appointment with Raphael and Michael in a few minutes,” she said, rising, and her massive white wings flared around her back like a nimbus. “Something about worldwide disease. If people would stop quarrelling and instead give fullest support those who are hunting for a cure, the world would be better off. One more question, Son of  Man, and our meeting will end.”

            “Um—racism?” I asked, even as she was gently urging me toward the door.

            She scowled, and her face changed. “In an earlier kabbalistic passage of souls, Rabbi,” she said to me, choosing her words carefully, “I was a pregnant Black woman. It was the late 1800s. There was a lynching. That’s all I want to say about that.”

            “Please,” I pleaded, “I know you have to go. But just give me some hope!”

            She fixed a basilisk eye on me, and I saw her eyes had changed to brown. “Seek God, and live,” she said, and pushed me out the door.

 

                                                           Shabbat Shalom 

MEET OUR CLERGY

OUR RABBI - David Hartley Mark

WATCH RABBI MARK , To Life, L'Chaim #217 - Rabbi David Mark (You Tube)

Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Rabbi David Hartley Mark was born in New York City, and grew up on the Lower East Side, that legendary Jewish immigrant neighborhood, attending Hebrew Day School. He was first from his school, the East Side Torah Center, to attend Yeshiva University High School for Boys—Manhattan. David attended Yeshiva University, where he attained a BA in English Literature, a BS in Bible and Jewish Education, and a Hebrew Teacher’s Diploma (HTD). He spent his third year of college at Bar Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel, where he developed a fluency in Hebrew, and toured around the country. He has also attained a Certificate in Advanced Jewish School Administration from the Hebrew College in Brookline, MA.

David attended the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he earned an MA degree from Queens College, as well as an M.Phil. degree, majoring in 17th Century English, specializing in the work of John Milton, as well as the Romantic Poets. A year teaching Hebrew School in a Reform temple in Brooklyn convinced him of his great love of Judaism, and he began attending the Academy for Jewish Religion, Yonkers, NY, where he was ordained a rabbi in 1980.

 

He met Anbeth, who was hired as temple secretary the same day he was hired to teach. They were married in 1978. They have two grown children, Tyler and Jordan, as well as a grandson, Aidan.

 

Rabbi Mark served pulpits in Warren, NJ, Fayetteville, NC, and Portsmouth, NH, in which last pulpit he spent 22 years, a record for that state. Seeking warmer climes, as well as closer family members, he and Anbeth took the pulpit of Temple Sholom in 2009. He also fulfilled a lifetime dream of teaching English at Keiser University in Ft. Lauderdale.  

 

OUR CANTOR - Javier Smolarz

Cantor Javier Smolarz

Cantor Smolarz comes to us originally from Argentina and via Congregations in various U.S. localities, joining Temple Sholom in September of 2018, where he has been wholeheartedly embraced by the Congregation.  His strong beautiful singing voice is coupled with a great sense of presence and decorum, but with a warm welcoming demeanor - all of which enhances our morning minyans and shabbat and holiday services.

 

 

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Our Czech Torah - Holocaust Memorial Scroll

The Torah was shipped in 1989 following a request from Malcolm Black who was the President at that time. The Torah is about 200 years old and comes from Mlada Boleslav, a town in the Czech Republic.

Fri, August 19 2022 22 Av 5782