Shabbat Torah Study in the “D”– Shabbat Shemini 5775 — Wherever You Are, the Point Is to Study

There is an interesting divergence of Parasha schedules this year between congregations in Israel and congregations elsewhere in the world. Last Shabbat was the 8th day of Passover here in the United States and the rest of diaspora, so the Torah portion reserved for that festival was read. In Israel, where there is no 8th day of Passover, Parshat Shemini was read. The word “shemini” means “eighth” so, coincidentally, the Parasha that refers to the 8th day for the inauguration of the Mishkan was actually read on the 8th day following Passover in Israel. Here we are reading Parashat Shemini this week.

There halachot (laws) and minhagim (traditions) that relate to what Jews who are traveling do since Israeli Jews are reading and studying Tazria-Metzora this week. A Jew who was in the U.S. last Shabbat, but Israel this Shabbat could end up missing hearing Shemini read. Oy! So there are actually minyanim of visiting Jews from around the world that will stay on the schedule of the galut (diaspora). Keep that in mind the next time you are in Israel visiting!

Through the genius of our perpetual calendar and the use of double portions, the schedule of parshiyot will reconcile to again coincide, so not to worry.

This Shabbat we are privileged to learn with Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz teaching on a very interesting subject. He draws upon a curious statement in this week’s Parasha related to an interaction between Moshe and Aaron following the death of Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu. This is what Rabbi Yoskowitz says:

“Vayidom Aharon” Aaron was silent, “Kol Dimama Dakah” – God’s Still Small Voice and “Amod Dohm”- A command to Israeli soldiers to stand silently: similarities and differences in the uses of the Hebrew word for “silence”.

We will be helped in our study by the Rashi commentary on Leviticus 11 :44-46 and by two great Darshanim-Rabbi Israel Herbert Levinthal, perhaps the greatest Darshan of the twentieth century and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks who continues to teach and to preach .

Shabbat Torah study is a 9:45 a.m. Come as you are. Stay as long as you like. Whether it is Shemini or Tazria Metzora, learn something! Adat Shalom makes it so easy!

I hope to see you there!

Shabbat shalom,

Paul

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