FROM THE RABBI’S STUDY… March 19, 2021/6 Nisan 5781
Torah: Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26) Haftarah: (Isaiah 43:21-44:23)
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 do sacrifices, but we pray in synagogues or in our home sanctuary. During this Pandemic it is comforting being together on a Zoom Shabbat service each week.The sense of prayer is powerful, and we sometimes ask all Jews to pray together.
This year we will be having Passover in our homes. Yes, it will be sad not to have the community seder, however I will lead the community seder on the First night of Pesach on March 27. Please look for the Zoom Passover link which will be posted before Passover. You may wish to have your family also join the seder. It will be an unique experience.
The First seder falls on a Saturday night this is Unique and a Rare Happening!
Usually Jews sell their Chametz leaven products to the rabbi. The money given is a contract that you destroy all the leaven and that your regular pots, pans, dishes and other food are locked or stored and will not be used during Passover. Usually, it is a donation and the rabbi designates a gentile to hold everyone’s items. After the Passover holiday on the last of the Eight days after sundown the Gentile returns the contract and the Passover is officially over.
Other IMPORTANT points…
First Born (Males) are to Fast on Thursday or study the Torah in a Siyum (study session).
Since Jews do not BURN anything on the Sabbath, Jews will recite Yehi Ratzon (So Be It) and burn before the Sabbath Chametz. YET, LEAVE challah loaves or rolls to be blessed and eaten for Shabbat on Friday night and Shabbat morning! BEFORE LUNCH ALL LEAVEN IS OUT OF YOUR HOUSE OR EATEN.
“Shel Shabbat V’Yom Tov!” The Sabbath and Passover will be recited on Friday night with the Shabbat Kiddush and Challah or challah rolls.
Kiddush and then a short Havdalah prayer, followed by the Shehecheyanu will be
All instructions are in the Haggadah since seder means order in Hebrew
. Remember this is also an unique and challenging time, and we strive to observe the best we can. The Lord is kind and compassionate and HE would like you to be happy and healthy. This is a JOYOUS holiday! The Israelites became free from bondage and became a Great Nation to practice Judaism FREELY!
If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me.
Rabbi Helene Ainbinder Halevi8663@aol.com