Linking the Generations - Sh'mini I (Leviticus 9:1–10:11)
Sh'mini I - The Eighth [Day] - Leviticus 9:1–10:11
On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons.
It is fitting that as Passover ends and we read the story of the song of the sea, we also contemplate sacrifice with Sh’mini I.
All week we have been speaking with students about the significance of giving up bread as a symbol of our appreciation for the freedom of our ancestors and our own modern freedom.
And as we return to our cycle of Torah readings, we recount more of how we are to sacrifice to honor the gifts we have received in this life.
To add an additional layer, we are also counting the Omer - another traditional sacrifice we give to acknowledge the wonders of creation.
For each of these examples of sacrifice, we are reminded that there is so much more to sacrifice than we see on the surface.
If we did not give up something, would we truly stop to contemplate the meaning behind our gratitude. The physical and the intellectual are so often bound in our tradition - it is no wonder we wrestle with which is more important.
The sephirot, or mystical attributes we reflect upon during the Omer are the gift we have only because we stop to physically count the days and take time to consider our progress as evolving and maturing individuals.
The time we take to pray or meditate on the wonders are god is a modern sacrifice. But it is also a gift. We take the time and are then are rewarded with new insights, new thoughts, new appreciation for the good things in our lives.
And as Passover concludes, we realize we can only be as grateful and appreciative of Freedom because we have given up just a little of it to better connect with our family, our community, and our inner soul.
Additional Torah Study Resources:
ReformJudaism.org Torah Study / Leading a Family Torah Discussion