Shabbat Parashat Vayikra Can You Take This Call? March 24, 2023 – 3 Nisan 5783

Dear Friends,

I hope you will join us this Friday night and Shabbat morning as we celebrate the bar mitzvah of Levi Lacey.  Mazal Tov to Levi and to his entire family!

This Shabbat we are reading the beginning of the third book of the Five Books of Moses, Leviticus, or Vayikra as it is called in Hebrew.  The opening words of the parsha, “Vayikra el Moshe” [And God called to Moses] set the tone for the entire book of Leviticus.  God calls us to imbue our rituals with meaning, with ethical messages, with love, and with connection.  Whether we are Moses, or not, we are constantly being called.  The question is:  Can You [or will you] Take This Call?

How often do we hear the phone ring and consider whether we want to respond or not?  Do we recognize the caller ID?  Do we want to relate to the caller?  Would we rather let the caller leave a message so that we can decide whether or how to respond at some later time?

The Torah is God’s voice calling out to us as filtered through the lens of generations of Sages who “took the call” and grappled with the message of Torah.  Will we take the call?  Will we enter into a discussion with God and with our sacred tradition?

This Shabbat, Levi Lacey will be called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah.  Let us support Levi and his family as he takes the call, for the first time, as a Jewish adult  member of our congregation.  Let us listen to Levi’s words of Torah as he discusses the meaning of Torah.  Let us celebrate a new generation of Jewish people who want to embrace our tradiition and highlight its eternal relevance.

And, may we be blessed with many simchas, individual and communal, this Shabbat and in the coming days and weeks.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror