Rabbi Sherman's Weekly Torah Commentary
April 3 & 4, 2020 Parashat Tzav
10 Nisan 5780 Shabbat HaGadol
Judaism is an inclusive religion; you don’t have to be a Rabbi to participate in our rituals!
More Jews around the world celebrate Passover than any other holiday. More Jewish families hold Passover Seders than families who observe the rituals of Hanukkah, Purim, or even Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. In Israel, even families who are secular and not at all religious still gather with family and friends on Passover to hold Seders, to remember the Exodus from Egypt, and to teach the story to their children. It is a holiday not only for religious leaders or for the very observant, but for the masses. It is for everyone.
Parashat Tzav in the Book of Leviticus hints at the inclusive nature of Judaism. This week, we read that Aaron and his sons, who are the priests of the Israelite community, are commanded to make their own daily sacrificial offerings as part of their priestly duties in the Holy Temple. The sacrifice is an eifah (about 8 cups) of flour; half is to be offered in the morning, and half is to be offered in the evening.
It is significant that while many of the sacrifices in Leviticus are goats, sheep and bulls, this particular sacrifice is of flour. Isaac Abarbanel teaches that this offering is flour, something everyone would have had, so that people wouldn’t feel embarrassed at the offerings they could afford to bring. The message seems to be that you don’t have to be wealthy or of the priestly class in order to participate in ritual.
Now that we are holding Shabbat services and even our Seder on Channel 1960 and online, it just might mean that even more people can participate. Regardless of wealth or even physical ability, anyone can join in celebrating Shabbat and in remembering the Exodus from Egypt.
1. Have you ever felt excluded from Jewish ritual?
2. How can you help someone else feel more included?
Please note our new Shabbat service schedule:
Please join our Shabbat evening celebration on Channel 1960:
Friday at 4:30 PM, followed by candle lighting, Kiddush, hand washing, and motzi.
Please join our Shabbat morning celebration on Channel 1960:
Saturday at 10:00 AM, followed by Kiddush, hand washing, and motzi.
Shabbat candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo is 6:55 PM.
Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi Karen Sherman