Torah Tidbits


Tidbits of Torah
Shabbat Parashat Acharey Mot-Kedoshim
April 120, 2013 – 10 Iyyar 5773

Dear Friends,

I hope that you will join us at services this Shabbat as we celebrate the bat mitzvah of Prue Whaley.  Mazal tov to Prue and to her entire family!

This has been an intense week in which we celebrated Israel’s Independence Day, yet we mourned the losses incurred in Boston.  We were at once raised up to spiritual heights and sent spiraling down to the depths of uncertainty and sadness.  Yet, with all this, our Torah remains a steadfast anchor and a source of inspiration and of hope.

Our double parsha of Acharey-Mot and Kedoshim parallels the ups and downs of our lives.  Sanctity, life and celebration mingle with loss, sadness and mourning.  Yet through it all, the value of life and the values of Torah remain a beacon of hope and a welcome light in the darkness.

Torah has us focus our attention on the practical steps we can take to make our lives meaningful and to make the world a better place for all.

Some of my favorite teachings from our weekly parsha…

“You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old…

When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him.

The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the Lord am your God.” (Leviticus 19:32-34)

And at the heart of our Torah:

“…You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2)

God gave us life and gave us Torah in the hopes that we would find ways to connect our lives with holiness.  And, it is so much easier to do that when we come together in holy community, as each of us has the potential to bring something uniquely special to the mix.

I look forward to seeing you at services this Shabbat and share with you below Rabbi Naomi Levy’s prayer in response to the Boston Marathon bombing.

A Prayer of Hope After the Boston Marathon Bombing by Naomi Levy, spiritual leader of Nashuva, author of Hope Will Find You.

God of peace, God of healing
God of the grief-
We call You, we invoke You
We pray to You:
Oh my God,
we called out to You
as a day of celebration
Turned to mourning.
Oh my God
The shock
The senselessness
Innocent lives cut short
Wounded victims
Heartbreaking cries of
panic and grief.
But through the darkness came
The light
The hope
The heroes
The selfless caring of first responders
Arms extended in comfort and love,
Your messengers on earth.
God, send comfort to grieving families,
Send healing to the wounded,
Send wisdom and strength to doctors and nurses Send calm to hearts filled with panic.
Bless us with peace, God,
Show us that we will rebuild
In the face of tragedy.
Grant us the power and wisdom
To bring justice to those who harm us.
Teach us that we will triumph over terror.
We will not let this tragedy twist our spirits We choose hope over fear.
We are resilient, we are strong
We are one nation under God
We will come together, hand in hand
We will rebuild.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror