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We Are Being Called

03/25/2020 12:09:30 PM


Beth Schafer

This week begins a new book of Torah, Leviticus, or in Hebrew, Vayikra, meaning “God called out.” God calls to Moses to relay to the people the kinds of sacrifices they should be offering in the Tabernacle. There are five types of offerings mentioned, each of which can have meaning to us in these extraordinary times of pandemic:

Olah – an offering of ascension. Let us rise to meet the needs of family, community and humanity both through our acts of restraint and outreach.

Mincha – a meal offering. Let us help to make sure that no one goes hungry during this pandemic. Whether it be for the elderly or school-age children who rely on public assistance, let us combat food insecurity even harder than ever.

Shelamim – a peace offering. Let us be agents of peace even when separated physically. We can be the voice of comfort and the voice of hope to those who are battling loneliness or anxiety.

Chatat – a sin offering. Let us work twice as hard to be diligent and vigilant as to not contribute to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Asham – guilt offering. Let us be extra sensitive to those who are experiencing loss – of health, of milestone events or much-anticipated moments of joy. Let us not be so self-absorbed in our own discomfort as to not be present for those who are hurting.

The times call out to us to be our best selves. May we use this Shabbat to reconnect to one another and to find joy in that connection. May Shabbat provide us with strength and resilience to face another week. Even though so much is uncertain right now, we can be most certain that the communal infrastructure we forged during good times will serve us well during this challenging one.

With wishes for Shabbat shalom,


Mon, August 3 2020 13 Av 5780