Shabbat Shalom Dear Readers Parshat Vayikra 5776

March 18, 2016

solomon's Temple

besyata

 

This week, Parshat Vayikra, candle lighting in New York City will be at 6:48 PM.Chabad.org has a section on its web site with candle lighting in your zip code, as well as clear instructions for its use. Resources are also provided for finding candle lighting times around the world. Both Chabad.org and Aish.com have articles that can be printed out before Shabbat to be read on Shabbat, as well as multimedia to read during the week.

Chabad.org has a video this week in which the most recent Lubavitcher Rebbe  recounts the courageous opposition of his father in law, the sixth Lubavitcher to the communist war on Judaism. He recounts a speech in which the previous Rebbe urged that children be taught Torah from an early age.

The oneness of the Jewish people is often experienced as a deeply felt emotion. Aish.com has a video in which  a couple discusses the naming of their son during a circumcision ceremony, and how this connected them to a family in Israel that had lost a father and son in a terror attack.

This week’s parsha deals with the laws of animal sacrifices of various sorts, as well as meal offerings. The offerings provide a mean of connecting all of physical creation to some sort of service of G-d. Their purpose is ultimately realised when the people who take part in the offerings are transformed by them. It should be noted that refinement of our individual behavior and sour conduct as a society are central and indispensable components of our service to G-d, without which our prayer and sacrifices are worse than useless.

In a real sense, human intellect and abilities provide the bridge that connects the animal, vegetable and mineral facets of creation to conscious service of G-d.

This last week was Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of the month of Adar II, which is a leap month that occurs seven times in 19 years. During leap years, Purim occurs in the second Adar. The scroll of Esther is the one book of the Jewish scriptures that does not mention G-d’s name. still, the book is permeated with Divine Providence.

Despite the antiquity of our biblical canon, Judaism is at an intermediate stage of its development. We are hoping and praying for the restoration of the Temple to its proper place, and the restoration of harmony between the nation of Israel and the rest of the world. It is at least as much for the sake of the nations of the world as for the Jewish nation that we pray for this miraculous restoration, an event that we believe will happen very soon.

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