Friday,March 31, 2017
From Rabbi Peter Stein
Chazak, chazak, venitchazek! Strength, strength, may we have strength! This simple blessing is recited 5 times a year, as we reach the end of each book of Torah in the cycle of readings. We did so this past Shabbat, as we read the last chapters of Exodus.
This week, we open the book of Leviticus. We call the book Leviticus in English because it has many rules and teachings relating to the Levites—the priestly class of religious leaders. In Hebrew, however, the book is called Vayikra, which is the opening word of the book….”And God called [to Moses]”
What does it mean to be called by God? How can we understand God’s presence in our lives? What obligations and imperatives can we discern as we consider our place in the chain of the generations?
All of this can be considered as we begin the annual study of this middle book of Torah. I pray that we will be blessed with strength to engage in this study in a vigorous and meaningful fashion. I pray that we will be blessed with strength to find loving and supportive partners in our study of Torah and our practice of Jewish ritual. And, to finish the threefold blessing, I pray that we will be blessed with strength to carry the words of Torah into all aspects of our lives, bringing its message of love and peace to all the corners of our community.
Final Reminder... there are still a few spots left!
Consultation on Conscience 2017
April 30 - May 2, 2017 in Washington DC
Join us as the RAC brings together Reform Jewish advocates and allies in a powerful moment of collective reflection, conversation, and action. TBK is taking a delegation, so if you are interested, please contact me ASAP!