Torah: Vayikra

Vayikra. This Shabbat we begin the third book of the Torah. In rabbinic times, the first centuries of the Common Era, children began their Torah study with Leviticus. Rabbi Issi explained: “Sacrifices are pure and children are pure; let the pure come and engage in the pure” (Vayikra Rabbah 7:3).

A couple of readings from my classmates inspired me this week, which I share with you:

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson on the three phases of American Jewish life:

Rabbi David Wolpe: The Great Beyond

Meir Dagan-the passing of a Jewish hero: Meir Dagan. A few years ago due to the graciousness of our congregant Nira Roston, my wife, Linda, our daughter Anna, and I had the privilege to have lunch with Meir Dagan, who had headed the Israeli Mosad under three Prime Ministers, spanning over eight years. Dagan was responsible for covert operations against Iran that stymied their nuclear development. He was a Jewish hero and I was moved to see his obituary yesterday in newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to Al Jazeera.