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Rabbi's Message

May 17, 2024
9 Iyyar 5784
PARASHAT EMOR
Leviticus 21:1-24:23
24th day of the Omer

Dear Friends,

Emor, this week’s Torah portion, Leviticus 21:1–24:23, means speak or say. It is an imperative to Moses from the Divine that he speak to the people. He speaks at great length about the restrictions related to priests’ sexuality and marriage with a description of holidays -- Passover, Shabbat, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. The omer period is described, asking the Israelites to bring food offerings to the priests for seven weeks, which is the time between Passover and the barley harvest. In the middle of all of this, we are once more reminded not to harvest the corners of our fields.

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I, the Eternal One, am your God." (Leviticus 23:22) Wait a minute, didn’t we just read the same thing last week? Why do you have to read this again two weeks in a row? Why is the same thing repeated in such close proximity?

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 Mitzvah of the Week

At our YISKOR service this week, we did two things: we remembered our loved ones who no longer walk this earth and the members of our larger communities who have been struck down and are no longer here. It is a combination of personal and communal mourning.

The Hartman Institute in Israel has developed a practice that is known by the word Hitkansut. It is a reflexive verb and not easily translatable into English. Some have translated it as convergence. “A verb in the reflexive form, Hitkansut beckons us to gather not only with one another but also into ourselves, our memories, family histories, and epigenetic inheritances.”

And so this week, as we observe Yom Hashoah, I invite you to share your memories and thoughts of this day with others and to also to take the time to respond to the stories and memories that you hold, allowing both the tears and the unexpected laughter to take hold.





Click HERE to listen to the Hatikvah


Oseh shalom bimromav, hu ya'aseh shalom aleinu ve'al kol Israel, ve'imru, Amen.
May the One who makes peace in the heavens, make peace for us all and all the people of Israel.
Wed, May 22 2024 14 Iyyar 5784