Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – March 19-20, 2021 (7 Nisan 5781)

March 19-20, 2021
Parashat Vayikra
7 Nisan 5781

Why do we still study the instructions for sacrifices that haven’t been performed in 2,000 years? Sacrifices are acts of connection between the people of Israel and the Divine. Korban—the Hebrew word for sacrifice—means “to come close.” Maimonides suggests that the sacrifices were intended to teach lessons and that they helped people understand worship. Later, the prophets referred to sacrifice as a path toward gemilut chasadim, acts of kindness.

If sacrifices taught lessons in biblical times, can they still teach lessons today? Rabbi Ruth Adar reminds us that the daily sacrifices teach the need to attend to a relationship regularly without expecting profit in return. Another sacrifice teaches the value of community, while another teaches about atonement. Rashi compares the sacrifice for atonement for acting unfaithfully to the instruction not to misuse holy property. The person making atonement must sacrifice a ram, pay restitution, and make an additional payment to the priests. Rabbi Adar says this teaches us that the betrayal of trust is a serious violation of the relationship and therefore requires a serious remedy. “Trust is essential to human relationships,” she says, “and broken trust is costly to heal.”

Passover Seder Celebrations – Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 at 4:00 PM

Residents only in the Dining Room, reservations required – see sign-up sheet on bulletin board

Seders led by Rabbi Sherman; Cantor Shikler will join with music for Second Seder

Shmoozing with Rabbi Sherman – Thursday, March 18 at 3:00 PM

Join for questions and conversation

Limited seating in the Synagogue; masks must be worn at all times

Heritage Pointe Residents can join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 or in the Synagogue (limited seating). Masks must be worn at all times in the Synagogue.

Friday at 4:30 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service) & Blessings

Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service) & Blessings

Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo:

Friday evening at 6:44 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 7:39 PM

Shabbat Shalom!
Rabbi Sherman