Torah: Ki Tissa (Exodus 30:11-34:35) Haftarah (Numbers 19:1-22;Ezekiel 36:16-38)
The Torah portion continues with Moses receiving instructions to collect a half-shekel from every person over the age of twenty when he takes a census of the community. Moses is told that the sanctuary’s furnishings are to be fashioned by the skilled artisan Bezalel. Moses reminds the people that in observing the Sabbath they celebrate the covenant between themselves and G-d. Moses is given two tablets on Mount Sinai. Forty days have passed, and the Israelites have asked Aaron to make a golden calf. Aaron agrees. When Moses sees the golden calf, he shatters the tablets. G-d instructs Moses to carve two new tablets and return to Mount Sinai. After the second forty days, Moses returns to the people, radiant from speaking to G-d. He covers his face with a veil.
The Torah has the thirteen attributes of G-d. Although it is impossible to describe G-d’s essence, the rabbis listed thirteen moral qualities by which G-d may be known to human beings. They derived these divine qualities from two verses in the Torah portion by analyzing the implications of each phrase: “The Lord, the Lord – a merciful G-d and gracious, long-suffering filled with goodness and truth, merciful to many thousands, forgiving evil, misdeeds, and sin; He will not clear the guilty, conferring sins of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, and even to the third and fourth generations (Exodus 34:6-7). The verses comprising the thirteen attributes are recited before the open ark on all Jewish holidays except when the holiday falls on the Sabbath.
A modern prayer that reflects one of the themes in this week’s Torah portion
was written by the famous spiritual poetess, Ruth Brin
God help us now to make this new Shabbat.
After noise, we seek quiet;
After crowds of indifferent strangers,
We seek to touch those we love;
After concentration on work and responsibility,
We seek freedom to meditate, to listen to our inward selves.
We open our eyes to the hidden beauties
and the infinite possibilities in the world You are creating;
We break open the gates of the reservoirs
of goodness and kindness in ourselves and in others;
We reach toward one holy perfect moment of Shabbat.
Our congregation celebrated Purim with some celebrities, as the rabbi could not get an ancestor, and Queen Esther was busy, so Vashti showed up (once again feeling like playing second to Queen Esther), a Red Sox baseball player (sorry to say, no ball signing or bat signing), Tinkerbell flew in (she kindly withheld throwing fairy dust in the host and hostess’ home, and many others celebrated Purim.
The information of our “Community Seder” celebrating Passover will be coming in the next few weeks. If you need Kosher L’Pesach items, please try ordering online, or a drive to Vegas or searching the stores in town.
Fruit and vegetables, meat and chicken, eggs, butter, tea, coffee are Kosher for Passover. Each person celebrates differently, and each seder Haggadah for various families are different. Make the choices to help “Hiddur Mitzvah”/ To Enhance and beautify the Passover Festival. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Halevi8663@aol.com.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder