Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – April 9-10, 2021 (28 Nisan 5781)

April 9-10, 2021                                                       Parashat Shemini
28 Nisan 5781                                                         Shabbat Mevarkhim haChodesh

This week, we read of the tragic death of Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Avihu. We know that the sons offered a sacrifice that was not commanded; beyond that, the Torah does not give a clear reason for their deaths. Some biblical commentators explain the deaths as a result of sin; others suggest that the sons were so righteous that their deaths cannot possibly be explained. One midrash (story) even says Nadav and Avihu died as punishment for resenting their father (Aaron) and their uncle (Moses) and for being in a hurry to take their places as priests.

While the various theories attempt to explain the deaths of Aaron’s sons, my teacher Rabbi Dvora E. Weisberg points out the significance of what happens after the death of the sons: the discussion of the laws of kashrut (keeping kosher). We read about the blood of animals that are killed for food; this reminds us that while we are surrounded by life and living beings, every living thing eventually will die. Dr. Weisberg teaches that death may be sudden and inexplicable… and that is something we all have to live with. In the meantime, we celebrate and honor life!


Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh
This Shabbat we bless the new month of Iyar, which will begin Sunday night and Monday.


Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) Service: Thursday, April 8 at 3:00 PM Channel 1960 or in the
Synagogue (limited seating; masks must be worn at all times).


‘We Remember’ Service: Friday, April 9 at 3:00 PM
Channel 1960 or in the Synagogue (limited seating; masks must be worn at all times).

Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day) – Wednesday, April 14
Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israeli’s Independence Day) – Thursday, April 15

Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 or in the Synagogue

Friday at 4:00 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service) & Blessings
Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service) & Blessings

Saturday at 8:00pm; Havdalah with the Jewish Collaborative featuring Dalia Taft of the OC Jewish Historical Society (Channel 1963) LIVE EVENT


Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 6:59 PM Shabbat ends Saturday
evening at 7:56 PM

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Sherman