The Gift of Torah

This week’s Dvar Torah on Parshat Emor was written by Rabbi Laila HaasDirector of Adult Learning and Growth at CAJE. For current Adult Learning class offerings and to register,

 “When you come to the Promised Land that I give you and you reap the harvest, you shall bring an omer, a portion of your first reaping to the priest, who will offer it to God. After seven complete Sabbaths from the time of these offerings, counting fifty days, you shall bring a new offering to God.”

(Parashat Emor Leviticus 23)

In this week’s portion, Parshat Emor, the Torah teaches us about the festivals that make up the Jewish year. We currently find ourselves in one of those appointed times between the Festival of Pesach and the Festival of Shavuot. From the second night of Pesach we begin counting upwards towards Shavuot where we celebrate the receiving of Torah at Mount Sinai. 

The ritual of counting days has become a spiritual practice where we imagine ourselves on a profound journey towards Sinai. We are encouraged to take time out of our daily routine to pause, to count, and to anticipate how much closer we are to standing once again at the base of Mount Sinai with our hearts open.

On this Shabbat, as we are at the halfway point, halfway to Sinai, we ask ourselves: “How will I receive the gift of Torah this year?”

Give Yourself the Gift of Jewish Learning and Enrich Your Spirit.

I have just enjoyed my first two weeks serving in the role of Director of Adult Learning and Growth at CAJE. I’ve had the pleasure of attending two “Tastes of Melton” (the opportunity for people to sample a Melton class and learn about our Melton & More program)-- one in South Dade at Temple Beth Am and the other in North Dade at Temple Sinai.

At both “Tastes” current students shared their personal experiences with the Florence Melton School for Adult Learning. They all used the word “transformative” to describe the impact of the Melton program. Our students expressed how studying the richness of our tradition, and the sacred texts with our dynamic faculty has changed their lives. 

Being part of the Melton learning community has given them new perspective and enhanced their understanding of who they are as Jews. The act of studying in community has strengthened their connection to their faith, and to the people around them.

We invite you to join us around the table and start your personal journey of enhancing your connection to Torah by becoming part our Adult Learning community. It is energizing to be part of a group of learners who are passionate, eager to learn more, and engaged in meaningful conversation. 

We have an amazing lineup of courses being offered this summer, registration is open and you can view the catalog on our website

 “The more the study of Torah, the more life.” - Rabbi Hillel

Share the Gift of Jewish Learning, and Deepen Your Relationships.

Another opportunity to receive Torah this year is to take advantage of our “My Way” initiative. “My Way” is a curated curriculum designed for a group of people interested in studying together either in someone’s home, office, coffee shop or gathering space. Bring together a group of people (your friends, co-workers, family) and based on your interests, we match your group with an outstanding educator who tailors a curriculum based on your desired topic.

Reach out to me, and I am happy to work with you to create an enriching Jewish learning experience in an intimate small group environment. Share the gift of Torah with your friends and you will be amazed at how it transforms your relationships, and enriches your personal connection to one another through a Jewish lens.

Rebbe Nachman taught, “Seek the sacred within the ordinary. Seek the remarkable within the commonplace.” When we transform our everyday places in to spaces of Jewish engagement and share the teachings of our tradition with our friends, we create meaningful moments that enrich our lives.

“When you walk, it [the Torah] shall lead you; when you sleep, it will watch over you, and when you wake, it will talk with you.” - Proverbs 6:22.

Every year at this time I find myself spiritually moved by the practice of counting my steps towards Sinai. As I engage in my daily ritual of counting the omer, I reflect on how important it is to make my moments lived count, by living with an intentional spirit. 

As Shabbat Emor approaches, be inspired to give yourself the gift of Torah. Begin your Jewish learning journey with us and immerse yourself in the richness of Jewish wisdom and our sacred texts. Become part of our meaningful, relevant and dynamic learning community.

Whether it be around the table of a Melton & More course, designing a My Way” experience for you and your friends, or meeting for coffee and learning more about your interest in Adult Jewish learning, I look forward to sharing meaningful moments with you!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Laila Haas

Director of Adult Learning and Growth

305-576-4030 Ext. 139


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