A Short Shabbat Reflection from the Weekly Parsha by Rabbi Mark Melamut
*Bissel: (bis-sel) Yiddish. Meaning: “a little.” “Give me a bissel lox on my bagel, would you, darling?” A biselleh is even less. (www.bubbygram.com)
Served each Friday afternoon, noonish.
In this combined weekly portion we encounter the ideas of the Sabbatical year and the Jubiliee year, rules governing those who serve and allowing them to eventually go free, as well as some guidelines regarding the reward and punishment of following the commandments. And, we also conclude the book of Leviticus, just in time to begin the book of B’midbar, before celebrating the holiday of Shavuot on Saturday eve, May 26. The countdown continues, as we look forward to meeting together to nosh, learn and schmooze for Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (4 communities come together for a collaborative evening beginning at 5 and lasting till midnight at BIJ, bij.org) ALL ARE WELCOME.
For six years the land is to be worked and we are to enjoy its produce. The seventh year is to be a “shabbat shabbaton,” a year of complete rest. What can we learn for our own lives from this agricultural law?
Concluding the reading of the book of Leviticus, and upon concluding each of our five books of torah, we say together, “hazak, hazak, v’nithazeik” – “may we be strengthened.” Whether we are concluding a chapter or beginning a new one in our lives, how can we gain the spiritual strength we need at this moment?
Rabbi Mark Melamut