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SHABBAT 5/6 JUNE 2015 : PARASHA BEHALOTECHA

Shabbat starts at 8.58 pm and ends at 10.18 pm

Mazal tov to Mosaic Reform member, Brandon Graft, on his Bar Mitzvah.  Brandon’s family is delighted to invite the congregation to join them for Kiddush at Bessborough Road, after the service to celebrate this special occasion.

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When we take the Torah from the Ark we recite verses that appear in this week’s portion
Behalotecha.
“When the Ark was to begin journeying, Moshe would say, ‘Arise, Adonai; may Your enemies be scattered, and may Your foes flee before you.’ And when it came to rest, [Moshe] would say, ‘Return, Adonai, You who are the myriads of thousands of Israel’.”
(Num 10:35-36)
Former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks notes that this passage is “A description of the Ark during the journeys of the Israelites in the Wilderness. The verse ‘When it came to rest’ is recited when the Torah is returned to the Ark. Thus the taking of the Sefer Torah from the Ark and its return recall the Ark of the Covenant which accompanied the Israelites in the days of Moses.”
There is something deeply psychological about this re-enactment.   Evidently, it is not enough for us to have laws to guide our moral and spiritual development.  We recite verses and act out our journey with the Torah each time we read from it,  because we feel the need to be reminded where laws came from and how G-d cared for us in the desert.  We need to be reminded of love past and present.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Paul Arberman
June 3, 2015