3/15/2013

Shabbat Vayikra

Candles Friday 6:43pm
Havdalah 7:39pm

Vayikra is the Book of the Torah that goes into greatest detail about the sacrifices that we no longer perform. Nevertheless as with everything else in the Torah there are lessons we can learn that are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago.

Amongst the many different kinds of sacrifices there was the Chata’at the Sin Offering. If one had done something wrong the first thing one had to do was to confess, Vidui. Not to a priest but directly to God. Only then could one proceed with the atonement. And this is why on Yom Kipur we have all those poetic confessions written into the prayerbook to help jog our memories and perhaps remind us of mistakes we may have made.

Actually confessing nowadays is something we tend to do to our therapists or our psychologists. And the aim is the same. Only by admitting or as they say "owning" up to one's mistakes can one hope to put things right. Consider how amazing this is. Freud’s great discovery of psychoanalysis is barely a hundred years old. Yet here three thousand years ago the Torah encourages us to express ourselves, to talk out the problem, to use God as a therapist in space, for free!

Shabbat Shalom.