Rabbi Sherman’s Weekly Torah Commentary – May 7-8, 2021 (26 Iyyar 5781)

May 7-8, 2021                    Parashat Behar-Bechukotai
26 Iyyar 5781                    Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh

Leviticus describes the blessings that will be bestowed upon us if we follow the commandments and the curses that will be imposed if we don’t. This sounds like a terrifying and confusing way to live! Rabbi Moshe Alshich, who lived in 16th century Turkey, noted that this terror and confusion makes it hard to listen, understand or heed. When we’re scared, we focus on survival, and it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. It’s difficult to comprehend what’s going on around us and inside us. But perhaps this confusion serves as a warning, providing just the momentum we need to do the right thing. Maybe the fear and anxiety can motivate us to avoid curse and seek blessing.

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 6:30 PM: Musical Birthday Shabbat Service; Blessings in Dining Room at 5:15 PM
Cantor Arie Shikler will join me on the bima, bringing his music and his spirit to our worship.
We will offer a blessing for Residents who are celebrating birthdays in the month of May.

Saturday at 10:00 AM: Shabbat Shacharit (Morning Service); Blessings in Dining Room at 12:15

Shabbat Mevarkhim HaChodesh
This Shabbat we bless the new month of Sivan, which will begin Tuesday night and Wednesday.

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

Shavuot is Coming – Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18
One of the three major festivals (along with Sukkot and Passover), Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Each year, it inspires us to study and live the teachings of our tradition. Shavuot means “weeks,” and we celebrate Shavuot seven weeks after Passover. In ancient times it was an agricultural festival that marked the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. It also was a pilgrimage festival, when Israelites brought grain offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. It is customary to eat dairy foods on the holiday, and our Dining Room will have plenty to offer!

Candle lighting time for the city of Mission Viejo: Friday evening at 7:21 PM
Shabbat ends Saturday evening at 8:20 PM

Shabbat Shalom!                                          Rabbi Sherman