Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – June 3-4, 2022 (5 Sivan 5782)


June 3-4, 2022                                                                                                   Parashat Bemidbar
5 Sivan 5782                                                                                                     


Threats to the future of Judaism come from the outside and from within. Antisemitism, anti-Israel sentiment, and Holocaust deniers threaten us from the outside. Internally, we face disagreements between the various denominations. And we all face the ever-present threat of ensuring our existence, as fewer Jews engage with Jewish congregational and communal life. Rabbi Jonathan Blake writes: “Each of these, and all these together, might lead to the weakening of the Jewish community—not only because of external factors, but from the inside out.”


This week’s parsha teaches that the Levites, the biblical priests, took on the responsibility to “stand guard around the Tabernacle” (Num 1:53). The Levites served as the Tabernacle’s security force? The Levites were religious professionals, not warriors! They conducted communal rituals and celebrations, taught sacred texts, and composed religious poetry and music. Rabbi Blake suggests that maybe the priests’ main function in guarding the Tabernacle had nothing to do with their skills as security guards and everything to do with promoting a vibrant Jewish life for the community.


For Reflection: How can each of us guard our communities from external and internal threats?



Shavuot is coming!! Sundown Saturday, June 4 – sundown Monday, June 6

On Shavuot we celebrate the Giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Enjoy special holiday foods, holiday services, and virtual holiday programming. Join our celebrations in the Synagogue:


Saturday at 6:30 PM:      Shavuot Evening Service (Blessings in Dining Room at 5:00 PM)


Sunday at 10:00 AM:      Shavuot Day I Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room


Monday at 10:00 AM:    Shavuot Day II Morning Service/Yizkor Memorial Service



Please join our Shabbat celebrations in the Synagogue (masks required) or Channel 1960


Friday at 5:00 PM:           Shabbat Blessings in the Dining Room


Friday at 6:30 PM:           Shabbat Musical Birthday Service with Rabbi Sherman & Cantor Shikler


Saturday at 10:00 AM:   Shabbat Morning Service followed by Blessings in the Dining Room



Candle lighting time for Shabbat for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 7:39 PM

Candle lighting for Shavuot: Saturday evening after 8:41 PM; Sunday evening after 8:41 PM

Shavuot ends Monday evening at 8:42 PM



Shabbat Shalom                                                                                               Rabbi Sherman