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No More Middleman

02/14/2019 08:27:46 AM


Beth Schafer

In this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh, we are introduced to the priesthood. Since the destruction of the Second Temple, Judaism has not had a priesthood. It sounds like a rather foreign concept now, even reminding us more of other religions. The priest was to be the intermediary between God and the Israelites. When the Israelites needed to mark a significant event or atone for sins, they would bring their sacrifice to the priest who would then make a ritual offering to God upon the altar.

I made a mistake this week that I was really embarrassed and upset about. Oh, how easy it would’ve been to go to a priest with a couple of turtle doves and have the poor winged-creatures be slaughtered for my error! But that’s not how Judaism works today. There is no intermediary anymore. I’m actually really grateful for that. It gave me the opportunity to speak to the person I hurt face-to-face and offer an apology. And when the person so graciously forgave me, I was able to thank God directly for having been forgiven, no middleman required. 

Over time the ancient priesthood was replaced with personal prayer—our direct connection to God. And although being direct is not always the easiest or most comfortable, even with God, it is definitely the most meaningful and always provides an opportunity to learn and grow.

Shabbat shalom,

Tue, February 18 2020 23 Sh'vat 5780