So as it turns out, the service at Camp Ramah Darom did not want me sending out the D’var Torah for the week… So here’s a lil something about the parsha from the weekend!
Last week’s parsha, Vayikra, elaborates on all the possible sacrifices for the Tabernacle, which includes bulls, rams, turtledoves or pigeons, grains, or cattle. All of these sacrifices were made in order to become pure again, to get closer to G/d.
I question you, my fellow Hanegev friends: how can we become closer to G/d today? We sure don’t offer sacrifices anymore, but are there things that you do to make yourself more pure? Some people might say praying, some people might say personal meditation, and some might say by doing mitzvahs. Even though the rules of being pure aren’t laid out for us today to be as accessible as they once were, I believe that, as each generation grows and adapts, that we find new ways to bring ourselves closer to G/d (no sacrifices needed).
Towards the end of the parsha, the types of sins that required a bull as an offering are discussed. The sin that I could understand the most was committing to something and forgetting about it. Even today, we are still guilty of forgetting.
In today’s fast and ever-changing society, we are constantly replacing new information with old. We write things down, in books and iPhones and on the backs of our hands, but we can still lose it in our crazy tangle of memories.
So, way back when, we had to give sacrifices for forgetting. What do we sacrifice today? Time? Opportunities? Sometimes, even people’s trust? Perhaps today the repercussions are not as dramatic as they once were, but they are just as important.
So this week, let’s try not to forget. Let’s take that extra step to remember the small things, like doing a random act of kindness (#FeedtheDeed), the feeling of jumping into a pool on a hot summer day (we will get through the winter!), or how much we love USY (actually, that’s kind of a big thing).