Mazeltov to Lior and Jodi Losinsky on the birth of a daughter and mazeltov to grandparents Harold and Elaine Wolmer.    Condolence on the passing of Zoe Cohen wife of Lee Cohen, mother of Garyn Cohen, Joshua Cohen and Melissa Biden.     Mazeltov to Saul and Sacha Jacobsohn on the birth of a daughter and mazeltov to grandparents Ralph and Tessa Posner and mazeltov to great grandparents Philip and Audrey Posner.    Mazeltov to Shareen Richter on the occasion of her engagement to Adam Davis.    Mazeltov to Avika and Gila Smith on the birth of a son and mazeltov to grandparents Ivan and Brenda Segal.
Parshat Behar-Bechukotai

Parshat Behar-Bechukotai

Behar begins with the laws of Shemitah, the Sabbatical year, where the Jewish people are commanded not to plant their fields or tend to them in the seventh year. Every 50th year is the Yovel, the Jubilee year, where agricultural activity is also proscribed.

These two commandments fall into one of the seven categories of evidence that God gave the Torah. If the idea is to give the land a rest, then do not plant one-seventh of the land each year. To command an agrarian society to completely stop cultivating every 7th year one has to be either God or a meshugenah (crazy).

Also included in this portion: redeeming land which was sold, to strengthen your fellow Jew when his economic means are faltering, not to lend to your fellow Jew with interest, the laws of indentured servants. The portion ends with the admonition to not make idols, to observe the Shabbat and to revere the Sanctuary.

The second portion for this week, Bechukotai, begins with the multitude of blessings you will receive for keeping the commandments of the Torah. (Truly worth reading!) It also contains the Tochachah, words of admonition, “If you will not listen to Me and will not perform all of these commandments…” There are seven series of seven punishments each. Understand that God does not punish for punishment’s sake; He wants to get our attention so that we will introspect, recognize our errors and correct our ways. God does not wish to destroy us or annul His covenant with us. He wants us to know that there are consequences for our every action; He also wants to get our attention so that we do not stray so far away that we assimilate and disappear as a nation.

2020 Sandton Shul Batmitzvah Ceremony