Rabbi header logo
Shabbat and Candle Lighting
for Friday, March 29, 2019 / 23 Adar II 5779

Light Shabbat candles at 6:23 p.m .
border experiment
Dear Co ngregation Kehillah and Friends,
Rabbi Sharfman
Parashat Shemini  contains a description of events that happened on the eighth ( shemini ) day, following seven days of ordination of   Aaron as High Priest and his sons as   kohanim /priests. The Torah relates a difficult episode about the deaths of Aaron's eldest   sons, Nadav and Abihu, while in service and we learn that Aaron's response, perhaps surprisingly, was silence (numbness?). Also   included are the laws of  kashrut  specifying which species are  kosher  ('fit') for consumption and which are not. Animals must have   both split hooves and chew their cud. (One of the reasons pigs are reviled is that they are deceptive: they have the external signs of   being kosher - split hooves - but do not meet the internal requirement - chewing the cud.) Fish require both fins and scales.  

Gastro-culinary alert: did you know that some insects (such as four species of locusts) are  kosher ???!!!  

The  parasha   concludes with the introduction of  mikveh  and the command to differentiate between pure and impure. Note: Impurity   is not 'bad' or immoral...it's part of the cycle of life, largely tied to biological rhythms.

The Torah's lesson is about working toward holiness, which is not a state of being but a process meant to teach us to make   distinctions and choices for the purpose of elevating life. In a modern sense, how do we choose to go about healing and growing?   What do we do to remind ourselves of who we want to be in the world? What steps or practices help us to actualize/to live in that   way?  

And, one more: Modern kashrut is also about our ethical obligations for fair treatment and concern for people and animals - what   did it take to get our food to the table? What practices are we supporting through our consumption choices?  

How can we live more mindfully and in doing so, elevate life? 
A   kavannah   for candlelighting for   Shabbat Shemini  
Holy One, as I kindle these Shabbat lights, please help me to distinguish between what is good  
and pure and what needs to be   'made clean' in my life so that I might be an instrument for bringing holiness into the everyday, increasing light in the world   and elevating life. 
Shabbat Shalom!  
Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman 
Congregation Kehillah
info@congregationkehillah.org   |   congregationkehillah.org
5858 E. Dynamite Blvd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331

Mailing Address: 21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Ste. 1630 #439, Phoenix, AZ 85050