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שבת שלום

The Honorary Officers welcome you and wish you Shabbat Shalom

Hebrew Date Sedra English Date
Shabbat 6 Iyar 5778 Tazria Metzora Saturday 21st April 2018

Last Shabbat we read the following: “For I, HaShem, am your God: you [Israel] shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, for I am holy” (Vayikra, 11:44). It seems that - contrary to the philosophical position of RamBam (who posits that HaShem is utterly unique and qualitatively different in kind to all Creation) - the Torah is telling us that we can share in HaShem’s Holiness. But how do we (humans) “be” Holy? Contrary to modern depictions of holiness as a “state of mind”, the Torah’s perspective is far more pragmatic and practical in its implications. Let me explain, with reference to this week’s “double portion”.

In Tazria and Metsora (and later chapters), the Torah lists four causes of impurity (or tumah): human corpses, animal carcasses, the escape of “life fluids” (blood and semen) and a ritual condition called “tzara’at” (not to be confused with leprosy). In the Biblical mind at least, a common motif underpins all four causes: an association with death. We should not be surprise, then, if impurity’s antithesis – holiness or purity - is inextricably tied to Death’s opposite: Life. And, indeed, it is. Ultimately (and unsurprisingly), the relationship between holiness and life has its root in HaShem who, depicted in Vayikra as “Holy”, is described by the Psalmist as “the Fountain of life” (Psalm 36:10). Thus, by logical inference from the biblical identity of holiness-life, we are able to conclude that HaShem’s command to “be Holy” equates to Moses’s (famous) demand in Devarim that Israel “choose life”!

Yet, our principal question remains: what does it mean to “be Holy” or “choose life”? By now, though, the answer should be more forthcoming. Indeed, our Sedrot have HaShem tell Moses precisely what a holy nation are required to do. Namely, to ensure that they (and the Temple) remain ritually pure (or holy) through purification sacrifices. For it is through sacrificial blood that the Temple is (seemingly literately) washed of the impurity caused by the four elements mentioned earlier. In doing so, Israel can ensure that HaShem (or the Shekhinah) rests in the Divine Abode. As I have said in a previous d’var, the Temple is a macrocosm. Thus, in ensuring that they and the Temple are holy, Israel –the holy nation – ensures that HaShem, the Fountain of Life, can maintain an active Presence in the Universe. That, it would seem, is the meaning behind the divine command towards holiness.

Dominic Olins

Shabbat times this week

Shabbat begins in Pinner 7:15pm
Earliest time to light candles 6:34pm
Minchah and Kabbalat Shabbat 7:15pm
Shacharit 9:30am
Shabbat Minchah 7:58pm
Shabbat ends and Ma'ariv 8:58pm

Service Times

      Morning Evening
Sunday  22nd April 8.15am 7.15pm
Monday 23rd April 6.50am 8.00pm
Tuesday 24th April 7.00am 8.00pm
Wednesday 25th April 7.00am 8.00pm
Thursday 26th April 6.50am 8.00pm
Friday 27th April 7.00am 7.15pm

 

Shabbat Tazria Metzorah is the 21st day making 3 weeks of the Omer

Events Coming Up

Starting at
New Generation Mums Night Out 22 April 2018 - 7:30pm
Maturians: History of Magic 25 April 2018 - 7:00pm
Food Hygiene Course 29 April 2018 - 10:00am
LSJS in Pinner - May 2018 2 May 2018 - 9:30am
First Aid Course 9 May 2018 - 8:15pm
Pinner Synagogue AGM 13 May 2018 - 11:00am
Pinner LJW : Hearing Dogs for the Deaf 16 May 2018 - 8:00pm
PIC : Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salaam 16 May 2018 - 8:15pm
Maturians: The Mill At Sonning 24 May 2018 - 11:45am
New Generation Family Film Showing 30 May 2018 - 2:30pm

Pages

Regular Events Running This Week

Seed - Summer 2018

On: 24 April 2018 - 8:30pm

J.A.C.S. Programme for April 2018

On: 25 April 2018 - 1:30pm