May 6, 2022 - May 7, 2022, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
A worthy initiative is taking place this Shabbat. Shabbat VeHadarta, founded by the late Israeli cabinet minister Uri Orbach, that encourages communities worldwide to pay special honor to its elderly members. The initiative is held each year on the Shabbat of Parshat Kedoshim on which we read the Torah verse “Rise in the presence of the elderly, honor the aged” (Leviticus 19:32).
It is an honor for Areyvut to partner with Michal Orbach, the leader of the Shabbat VeHadarta project and to actively engage many others the world over to participate in this effort to promote core Jewish Torah values through global Jewish unity and the power of Shabbat.
There are various ways you, your family and commUNITY can get involved. For example, giving flowers before Shabbat, connecting over the phone or in person with an elderly member of your community, taking the opportunity to visit older family members, inviting elderly neighbors’ for a Shabbat meal, encouraging your synagogue give elder members special honors in shul.
You can find more suggestions at https://vehadarta.uriorbach.co.il/english/.
This initiative celebrates a very important mitzvah of showing respect to the elderly, who are our closest link to previous generations going back to Mount Sinai. They are also a source of wisdom for our communities, as the Talmud in Kiddushin 32b tells us, zaken, elder, stands for ze-kana-chochma, “one who has acquired wisdom” from decades of life experiences. In recognition of this, the great sage, Rabbi Yochanan would always make a point of standing for the elderly no matter who they were.
Shabbat VeHadarta is about, as individuals, families, schools, synagogues and communal agencies in actively showing reverence and respect to the elderly in our daily lives and interactions. In doing so, we set an example for our children: teaching them by example the importance of giving honor to wisdom and traditional values.
Please get involved in this wonderful initiative in any way you can!