Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – May 28-29, 2021 (18 Sivan 5781)

May 28-29, 2021                                           Parashat Beha’alotecha
18 Sivan 5781

Judaism teaches that even the elderly can serve the community. This week we learn that a Levite may serve in the Tabernacle from age 25 until age 50. After age 50, Levites face forced retirement: “They shall retire from the work force and shall serve no more” (Numbers 8:25). Understandably, a younger Levite would be better able to perform sacrifices correctly—he would have quick reaction time, attention to detail, steady hands, and accurate eyesight. So at age 50, a Levite must step aside from the role of performing sacrifices, lest physical or other limitations interfere.

Even after retirement from this sacred task, older Levites still had a valuable role to play: “They may assist their brother Levites at the Tent of Meeting by standing guard…” (Numbers 8:26). Our tradition recognizes that with aging comes wisdom. Kristine Garroway, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Hebrew Union College, points out that the older Levite could ensure that the next generation of Levites would assist Israelites on their path to holiness. Today, we can draw wisdom from our biblical model that values the contribution of each member, in each stage of life.

Please join in this week’s Shabbat celebrations on Channel 1960 or in the Synagogue
(Limited seating in the Synagogue; masks required at all times)

Friday at 4:15 PM: Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Evening Service); Blessings in Dining Room at 5:15
Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service); Blessings in Dining Room at 12:15

Blessings in the Dining Room – Out of respect for the occasion, food service will pause briefly while we make Kiddush and Motzi on Shabbat, Holy Days, and other holidays. If you would prefer uninterrupted food service, you are welcome to start your meal before blessings begin or after they are complete. If you are at the table during the blessings, you are encouraged to join in the blessings from your seat at the table. When Rabbi says “Savri” – respond with “L’chaim!”

Torah Talk Shabbat afternoon at 1:30 PM in the Music Room (limited seating; masks required)

Candle Lighting in the Synagogue – If you would like to have the honor of lighting candles in the Synagogue,
please contact Rabbi Sherman.

Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 7:36 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:37 PM

Shabbat Shalom!                                    Rabbi Sherman