Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26) Haftarah: (Isaiah 43:21-44:23)
Erev Purim will be on Wednesday 16, 2022/13 Adar II 5782
Congregation will celebrate Purim on Thursday 17, March/14 Adar II 5782
The Torah has descriptions of five different kinds of sacrifices to be offered in the sanctuary: the olah, or burnt offering; the minchah, or meal offering, the zevach shelamim, or sacrifice of well-being; the chattat, or sin offering; the asham, or guilt offering.
In biblical times, sacrifices to G-d were considered an expression of faith. The word korban (sacrifice) literally means “to draw closer,” and reveals the purpose of the offerings. They were meant to unite the worshipper with G-d. By offering sacrifices, a person said thanks to G-d or sought forgiveness for sins. In presenting the sacrifice, one was giving something important of oneself to G-d. For the ancients, the smoke of a burnt sacrifice was proof of a person’s love and reverence for G-d.
The olah symbolized a complete surrender to the will of G-d. The shelamim was intended as a demonstration of gratitude to G-d for His bounties; the chattan was symbolic of regret and sorrow at having strayed from the way of G-d. Unlike heathen cults, which permitted individuals to offer their sacrifices wherever they chose, the Jews were allowed to make their offerings only in the tabernacle (and later the Temple). This was to teach them that each member of the community was responsible for the acts of all the others, and that no one could live and act for themself alone without consideration for others.
The Torah never ceases to enlighten us. This Sabbath as we pray together from our homes, We separate the mundane from the sacred time. When Jewish people pray they become closer to G-d. Today, there is no Holy Temple in Jerusalem and Jews do not make sacrifices, but we pray in synagogues or in our home sanctuary.
During this Shabbat we pray together in person and on Zoom, and Wednesday night Purim will begin. We will be celebrating together on Thursday afternoon and on Zoom to hear the Megillat Esther read by one of Rabbi Helene’s ancient relatives!
May our prayers this Sabbath focus all of on Peace for Ukraine’s people.
May our prayers this Sabbath focus on all leaders to take action to stop the genocide, invasion and war.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder