Hanna's Dvar Torah

The Chalot tell us a story - Beshalach

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Today, like every week, we will set the table for Shabbat and we will place there two fresh delicious Chalot, nicely covered. This week, they will have a special taste, since they come directly from this week’s Parasha Beshalach.

In last week’s Parasha, the Jews left Egypt and they are now in the desert. The Matzot they had prepared for the journey finished. What will they eat now? This is when one of the greatest miracles started, which lasted for forty years, until the Jews entered the land of Israel. This was the Manna, the bread from Heaven. Each morning, the manna fell from the sky, covered by dew. On Fridays, a double portion came down, so that the Jews would not need to make the effort on Shabbat to gather it.

This is the reason why at every Shabbat table, we have two Chalot, like the double portion of Manna, and we cover them, just like the Manna was covered in dew.

Until today, the Manna continues to teach us trust in G-d. Every day, the Israelites were permitted to gather only one portion per person. They could not store Manna for the next day. They had to have complete trust in G-d, that He will reiterate the miracle on the next day as well.

Would you be able to go to sleep every day with an empty fridge and be sure that G-d will provide you with food on the next day?

Today, let’s set the Shabbat table all together. Women and girls will light the Shabbat candles (candle lighting time in Athens is 17:14), men and boys will make Kiddush and as we will eat the delicious Chalot, we will remember the endless trust that our forefathers had in G-d and try to imitate them.

Ας δυναμώσουμε την εμπιστοσύνη μας στον Θ-ό, ότι θα μας δώσει ό,τι χρειαζόμαστε και ας είμαστε ήρεμοι.

Let’s strengthen our trust in G-d, that He will provide us with what we need, an let’s be peaceful. 

Shabbat Shalom,


How early should we involve the children? - Bo

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There are various big and eternal questions: What is better, mobiles iOS or android, Coca Cola or Pepsi? The most important question started many years ago, in this week’s Parasha Bo, and continues to concern us until today.

At the beginning, Moses did not ask Pharaoh to free the Jews forever. He just asked for a 3-day permission to go to the desert to worship G-d and offer Him sacrifices. In Egypt, it would be dangerous to do it, since the sheep were the gods of the Egyptians.

After having suffered from a few of the 10 Plagues, Pharaoh proposed to Moses to give him the 3-day permission, but only to the men. The women and the children would stay in Egypt. Moses did not agree at all and insisted that everyone had to go: young and old, with their sons and daughters.

This dispute was not that simple. From one side, we have Pharaoh, who thinks that it is not necessary to involve the children in spiritual and G-dly matters: “Let them pay, and when they grow up, then we will speak to them about G-d and spirituality”.

From the other side, we have Moses, who explains to us that education has to start from a young age. As early as we can, we must teach our children about G-d and train them to behave in the way.

I choose to be like Moses. You?

Shabbat Shalom!


Can we question G-d? - Vaera

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A non-Jew once asked a Jew: “Why do Jews always answer questions with another question?” The Jew answered: “Why not?”

There are various kinds of “why”: It can be a complain, an observation or a simple answer to understand better.

Moses himself had a question-complain to G-d. G-d had sent him to Pharaoh to free the Jewish people. But instead of a positive result, Pharaoh made the life and the slavery of the Jews even worse. When Moses saw that G-d’s commandment had brought opposite results, he ask G-d: “Why have you done bad to Your people, why have you sent me to Pharaoh?”. G-d answers Moses, reminding him of our forefathers who always had trust in Him and never asked

How could it be that Moses, our biggest leader, asked “Why?”.

Our Sages explain us the difference between Moses and our forefathers. They served G-d with various feelings: Abraham with love, Isaac with fear and Jacob with mercy. Feelings do not need logic and answers. Our forefathers never asked ‘why’ because they did not feel the need to understand.

As a preparation for the Giving of the Torah, of G-d wisdom [which would take place after the Jews left Egypt], G-d chooses another type of leader. He chooses a leader that works with his mind. Moses was such a leader, who tried to understand everything.

When he saw that G-d’s commandment had negative consequences on the Jews, he asked “why”, because he wanted to understand. But G-d explain to Him that indeed, we must try to understand, but there will always be some things that we will not able to comprehend. Things that me must believe as they are, just like our forefathers.

Αν και εσείς δεν μπορείτε να κατανοήσετε κάτι που έκανε ο Θ-ός, μπορείτε να νιώσετε άνετα, δεν είστε οι μόνοι. Είναι φυσικό, οι άνθρωποι με το περιορισμένο μυαλό τους, να μην μπορούν να καταλάβουν την απέραντη σοφία του Θ-ού.

If you also cannot understand something that G-d has done, you can feel at ease, you are not the only one. It is natural that humans with a limited intellect cannot comprehend the unlimited wisdom of G-d.

Shabbat Shalom,


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