Sedra of the week:  Vayikra – Zachor
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Sedra of the week:  Vayikra – Zachor

Rabbi Boruch M Boudilovsky looks ahead to this week's portion of the Torah!

The book of Vayikra opens with a detailed description of the various tabernacle and temple offerings, which ranged from plain flour to expensive livestock, from voluntarily-presented offerings to mandatory ones, and from those offered on behalf of individuals to those on behalf of the nation and beyond.

Several times, a more economical alternative is introduced by the phrase: “But if his [or her] means are insufficient…”. The Torah sensitively presents the poor with an affordable alternative so they do not feel excluded.

There may, however, be an additional directive in these words. When in the company of others, people could find themselves pressured to present offerings beyond their affordability. In an ancient economy based on subsistence farming and livestock, these offerings could be quite expensive and people might become inclined to take loans. The Torah encourages people to worship and celebrate only within thei means.

Celebrating life cycle events are often genuine sources of joy and pride, but, too often, encouraged by social, psychological and other pressures, people host celebrations they simply cannot afford. Sadly, the financial burden people irresponsibly place themselves under destroys lives and relationships.

Modesty should therefore be maintained, even when people are fortunate enough to afford more and we should remember the words in Micha (6:8) “He has told you… what is good, and what Hashem seeks from you: Only the performance of justice, the love of kindness, and walking humbly with your God.”

  •   Rabbi Boruch M Boudilovsky serves Young Israel of North Netanya
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