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20/21 May: Parshat Emor (HEMS and Reform)

rabbipaulsmlShabbat comes in 8.39pm: goes out 9.54pm 

In Parshat Emor, we read about the prohibition against desecrating God’s name.  In our earliest understanding of this commandment, we understood that major violations of moral law are desecrations of God’s name.  So, for example, we are commanded to give up our life rather than violate one of the three “cardinal” sins:  murder, incest, and idolatry.  


On the other side of things, sanctification of God’s name occurs when our observance of mitzvot enhances the respect for the Torah in the eyes of other people.  When the Jewish community (or individuals) help out people in need, it sends a message about the kindness required by our God.  Simple acts of common civility or incivility can have far-reaching ramifications, depending upon who is involved and who is watching.


Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Paul Arberman

May 16, 2016