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Conclusion of The Book of Leviticus

05/31/2019 02:37:33 PM

May31

Rabbi Steven Suson

This week, congregations across the world will conclude the book of Leviticus (except in Israel, where Parashat Bechukotai was read last Shabbat). God promises blessings to B’nai Yisrael when they walk in His path and keep His statutes. Conversely, if we stray and don’t follow the laws, the Torah lists 49 punishment that will be meted. Heavy stuff for a Saturday morning...

It is customary in many synagogues (including ours) to read the blessings loudly and clearly, and the curses softly and quickly. It is symbolic of our wish to do away with the curses and give them as little emphasis as possible. Following the ugly details, God promises that even when we are in exile, he will never forget the covenant and not destroy us completely.

The message resonates that just as we are accountable for our individual actions, we are also linked to our collective behavior. Like individuals, sometimes we flourish and sometimes we falter.  Lest we become too discouraged, God reminds us of His desire for our success and His understanding of our imperfect human nature. 

Please join us in shul this Shabbat and help elevate our community through prayer and mitzvot. Together, we can realize all of the associated blessings.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Suson

Thu, November 14 2019 16 Cheshvan 5780