The Virtue of Humility
Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
When you read from a Scroll (a Sefer Torah) you notice that it has many secrets and details. There are letters that are bigger than others, smaller than others, longer than others, etc. There are letters that are upside down, cut off, or that have dots above them. It is not always clear the reason for these non-regular letters, but the sages tried to give a reason for every little dot they found in the Torah.
One of these non-regular letters of the Torah appears in our parashah. More precisely, it is the first word of the parashah, and also the first word of the Book of Leviticus.
Shabbat Hachodesh: A Time to Adjust Ourselves to a Different Reality
Rabbi Daniela Szuster
This Shabbat is called “Shabbat Hachodesh.” It is the last of four special Shabbatot before Pesach. It falls on the Shabbat before the month of Nisan or on Rosh Chodesh itself.
The special maftir reading is Exodus 12:1-20, which describes the night of the first Pesach before the children of Israel were liberated from Egypt. These verses describe the eating of the Pesach lamb sacrifice with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Besides this, this paragraph describes the order to paint the doorposts of Israelite houses with the blood of the sacrificed lamb. In addition, we find in these verses various laws of Pesach.
Being Together in Times of Isolation
By Rabbi Rami Pavolotzky
This week we have a special Shabbat named Parah, literally the Sabbath of the Red Heifer. It occurs on the Shabbat after Purim or, similarly, the Shabbat prior to Shabbat Mevarchim of the month of Nisan. This is the Shabbat in which we announce that the beginning of the Hebrew month of Nissan will occur that coming week. In addition to the regular parasha for the week (Ki Tisa, this year), we read a maftir reading from a second Torah scroll, Numbers 19:1-22. This text deals with the red heifer whose ashes were combined with water to ritually purify anyone who had been in contact with a dead person. In ancient times, when sacrifices were still observed at the Temple of Jerusalem, only people who were pure could eat from the Passover sacrifice. A corpse was considered to be the maximum source of ritual impurity. Through the ritual of the “red heifer” people were able to purify themselves in order to be ritually apt to eat from the Passover sacrifice. Shabbat Parah was like a public announcement right before Pesach was approaching, to remind anyone who may have become impure to purify themselves before making the Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
2020 FF VOLUNTEER FORM #3 2020
2020 FF DOWNLOADABLE Coupon UPDATED RR NOV 15