3/19/2015

Shabbat Vayikra

Shabbat HaHodesh
Rosh Hodesh Nissan
20th Candles 6:48pm
21st Havdalah 7:44pm

Special Kiddush sponsored by Jonathan Zamir and Yaron Shemesh
Please come and bring your friends.

Featuring Shahar Azani
Executive Director, StandWithUs Northeast Region

This Shabbat we welcome in the New Month of Nissan. Pesah is two weeks away. The extra reading from the Torah is the chapter in Exodus where the Children of Israel in Egypt are commanded to prepare for their freedom by making preparations to celebrate the Seder Meal on the night of their freedom.

They were given the freedom, the opportunity to publicly identify with their people and their God. They were to do this in two ways. The first was to defy the Pharaoh by doing something that went against the dominant culture, taking the lamb to sacrifice, something that offended Egyptian sensibilities.

But they also had to daub blood on their doorposts to identify their homes as Israelite homes.

We know from the Midrash that many Israelites refused to identify. They saw themselves as more Egyptian than Israelite. The result was that large numbers assimilated and simply disappeared from Jewish history.

A similar challenge faces Jewry today. Not just the political challenge of those who regard Israel as the cause of the world’s problems but the cultural one too. We are losing large numbers who refuse to identify.

That’s why it is so important for us to do our utmost to identify and encourage and support those who work to keep as many of us involved as possible.