Rabbi Jonathan Glass
The book of Leviticus (Vayikra) is nicknamed Sefer Hakedusha, meaning the book of holiness. While the subject matters up to this week have been obvious in their connection to holiness, due to their focus on the tabernacle and the sacrifices, the connection that some of this week’s topics have to holiness seems a lot less clear.
But the message IS clear, holiness can be involved in any area of human activity and is emphasized by the Torah placing the mitzvoth of leaving parts of one’s harvest to the poor right after the exhortation to be holy – Kedoshim Tiyu! If one could boil down holiness to one word it would be restraint, and that is the key element to these commandments of Leket, Shicha and Peah. Imagine all the hard work that goes into creating a successful harvest and even in the act of finally harvesting one’s produce one is forbidden from collecting everything. That takes some serious will power!
It is this same strength that must be a factor in all our dealings with our fellow human being, which God insists we all have within ourselves, and will serve for our eternal inner harmony.
TriBeCa Synagogue is pleased to welcome two guests who will address the congregation throughout Shabbat morning:
Matt Abelson is a graduate of Harvard College and is about to be ordained a Rabbi at the Jewish Theological Seminary. At our synagogue he has served as coach for our Isaac’s Lions High School Basketball team who we will honor at the end of morning services. He will deliver the Dvar Torah before Musaf.
Bill Gross is a senior salesman of life and health insurance at Gross & Co. Family Insurance Brokerage, as well as a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Braille Institute of America. This week’s Torah reading includes the verse ”before the blind you shall not place a stumbling block” and as such a great opportunity to learn about the challenges of practical Judaism for the blind. Bill’s life is an inspiring story of someone who is close to our community and has met those challenges successfully. He will address the congregation at Kiddush and lead a discussion following his presentation.