Parashat Tzav 5776–Your Home Is a Temple

The Torah Book of Vayikra continues to “Tzav” (Command) the sacrifices. We question the relevance of understanding these rituals when we no longer have the Temple. To this the Sages comment that we always have a Temple of sorts. We have our homes and our dinner tables. It is in our homes that we teach Jewish values to our children through role model behavior of our beliefs, traditions and practices. It is our tables that symbolize charity and hospitality. It is around those tables, that we make a special point of acknowledging the many gifts God gives us—including the gift of our children as we bless them. It is in our homes that our children can see Judaism practiced in all its beauty. It is in our homes that children can see Jewish books read, beautiful ritual objects used (candle sticks lit, mezuzot, challah cover, Kiddush goblet, Chanukiya, sukkah) and kosher recipes prepared. Aren’t the sacrifices kosher recipes? We have the challot and we reenact the salting of sacrifices on the Shabbat table that continues as a symbol of the altar.

The question is not the relevance of the rituals of sacrifice. The question is how much we try to make our homes obviously and distinctively Jewish places of sanctity, joy, good values and shalom. In that way we each have a Temple that is truly eternal.

With the imminent arrival of the Festival of Passover we have yet another way to demonstrate the Temple like nature of our homes as we create Sedarim full of symbolism, many of which relate to the Temple sacrifices with relevant meanings that resonate in every generation.

This will be an amazing weekend at Adat Shalom Synagogue with Billy Jonas and his Band. If you are looking for soulfulness and spirituality in your Jewishness, opportunity is knocking. Answer the door!

Shabbat Shalom,,

Paul

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