Our parsha this week details the many possibilities and pathways available to our ancestors for connecting to God amidst their travels in the wilderness. Here, in the first portion of the Book of Vayikra, the Israelites are given a menu of offerings (korbanot) to bring for different occasions including livestock, birds, grains, baked goods smeared with oil, and first fruits. There are offerings prescribed to express gratitude, guilt and grief. The sacrifices are instruments in rituals of purification, of rebooting, of returning, and of staying in relationship with God and community.
These rites are meant to be accessible to all. The Torah instructs that if one’s means don’t suffice to bring a sheep, two turtledoves will do. If a person cannot afford a bird, they can bring a grain offering.
So, too, in our lives in Jewish community today, there are many ways to connect and contribute. At Shaare Torah, we are in awe of the many avenues you choose for sharing your time, talent and resources. We recently calculated that 138 unique adult members of our congregation are involved in one or more of our committees, clubs or affinity groups. We pride ourselves on your participation. We are committed to meeting you where you are as your lives change and as the world changes.
Soon, around our Passover seder tables, we will ask the question, “Mah Nishtanah?” What is different on this night? What is different in the world this year? How have you changed since last Pesach? What avenues of connection call to you this season?