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Friday, Iyar 26, 5778 (41st day of Sefirah) / May 11, 2018

This Shabbat we will conclude the third book of the Torah, the book of Vayikra (Leviticus).


The last Parsha of the Book of Leviticus is Bechukotei. The Parsha begins, “If you follow My laws and guard My commandments and observe them. I will give your rains  in their time, the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will produce it’s fruit… You will live safely in your Land. I will grant peace in the Land and you will go to sleep with nothing frightening you. I will eliminate wild animals from the Land and foreign swords will not pass through your Land.” These are special blessings which G-d gives for the Land of Israel.


When the Torah reader reads the last verse of this Parsha, everyone rises. When he concludes the reading, the entire congregation recites in unison, “Chazak, Chazak, Venitchazek.” Translation: “Be strong! Be strong! And may we all be strengthened!


With all that has been happening on the Israeli Syrian border this week, we wish our beloved Israel, “Chazak, Chazak, Venitchazek. - Be strong! Be strong! And may we all be strengthened!” Israel’s strength is our strength!


May Hashem guard and protect the Jewish people wherever they are, especially in the Holy Land. May Hashem guard and protect the soldiers of the IDF – on land, in the air and at sea, that they accomplish their missions with great success and no harm shall befall any of them.


Being that this Sunday is Mothers Day, we wish all mothers the above blessing, “Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!” May Hashem bless our mothers with physical strength, good health and lots of Nachas from their children and grandchildren.


One of the greatest mitzvot in the Torah is honoring parents. The mitzvah is not only when they are alive, but also after their passing. We give charity in their memory and recite the kaddish on their yartzeit and recite the Yizkor on the holidays – keeping their memories alive.


Honoring parents is one of the Ten Commandments. However, it is unique in that it is the only one of the Ten Commandment for which G-d prescribed a reward – the reward of long life.


This Sunday is also a very special day, known as Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day. On this day, fifty one years ago, the Holy city of Jerusalem, was returned, after two thousand years, to it’s rightful owner - the people of Israel.


With the American Embassy moving to Jerusalem this week, we say, “Chazak, Chazak” - Be strong! Be strong! And may we all be strengthened!



Montrealcandle lighting time: 7:56 / Shabbat ends: 9:07