Rabbi Feingold's D'var Torah

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Each year at the Beth Hillel Community Seder, we have a theme that connects the story of the Exodus from Egypt to oppression and discrimination in our world today. While we celebrate our freedom during this festive observance, there is a sober message in the Seder: To root out slavery and degradation of humanity where ever it still thrives. Unfortunately, we need not look far to find it. This year's theme will connect Pesach to the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, Selma and the Voting Rights act of 1965. We will be showing a short video called "Faces of Selma Fifty Years Later" at the Seder and reflecting on the famous image of Dr. King, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and other religious leaders walking the Edmund Pettus Bridge. I am delighted to share with you that the video is the work of Dan Przygoda (son of our members Marty and Mary Jo Przygoda) of bloomberg.com, and he has given me permission to share it with the congregation. Watch it at the Community Seder or click here. May your Seders be joyous, deep and meaningful, and may they spur us all to seek justice.

Toward the end of this week's parasha (Torah portion), Aaron and his sons are consecrated as priests in a special ordination ceremony in which Moses dabs their ears, right thumbs and right big toes with the blood of a ram offered specifically in honor of their ordination. (Lev 8:23) The famous Torah commentator and author of the "Hertz Chumash," J.H. Hertz wrote of this ritual: "The ear was touched by blood, that it may be consecrated to hear the word of God; the hand to perform the duties of the priesthood; and the foot, to walk in the path of righteousness." (Hertz Pentateuch, p. 437) While we are not priests, these are valuable rules to live by every day: to listen to the voice of God, to act according to the values and teachings of our heritage, and to seek righteousness in every situation we encounter.

Leviticus 6:1−8:36

This week's parasha (Torah portion) begins with the word Vayikra, which is also the Hebrew name of the book of Leviticus. This is one of a few places in the Torah where find a very small letter, in this case an alef at the end of the word "vayikra." The word vayikra means "and He called," that is, God called Moses to speak with him within the newly completed Mishkan (worship tabernacle) in the wilderness. Rabbi Richard Address, founder and director of www.jewishsacredaging.com speaks of the little alef in relation to aging and the diminution of stature and abilities that come with age. He wrote: "... the ability to learn, grow and answer God's call is never ended" even as our bodies and minds begin to fail us as we age. He notes that the Jewish baby boomer generation craves serious learning as the number-one activity in retirement and encourages congregations to take up the call of the alef in Vayikra. If you would like to work on developing our efforts to bring targeted learning to baby boomers and beyond at Beth Hillel, please contact me or BHT Adult Education chair, Linda Selsberg

May FOOD OF THE MONTH: canned or dried beans

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This Week at BHT

26 Jun 2018
04:00PM -
Shalom Center Soup Kitchen
27 Jun 2018
07:00PM -
Food for Thought Class
29 Jun 2018
05:45PM -
Kabbalat Shabbat
01 Jul 2018
12:00AM
MCC Pledges Due New Year
06 Jul 2018
05:45PM -
Family Kabbalat Shabbat | Lay Leader | BD Blessings
07 Jul 2018
09:15AM - 10:15AM
Torah Study
07 Jul 2018
10:30AM -
Learner's Minyan