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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

03/23/2023 05:00:00 PM

Mar23

Rabbi Josh Whinston

While on sabbatical, Sarah and I would occasionally look at each other and say, “Is this really happening?” I am tremendously appreciative of the sabbatical I was granted over the last few months. In particular, after several years of coping with the pandemic, I didn't realize how much I needed a respite to recharge. Many of the experiences my family and I had while away are indescribable and will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

Being in Israel for two months as the new government was forming and their intentions were becoming clear was shocking. However, it was encouraging to witness Israelis recognize that their democracy was under siege, and to join hundreds of thousands of them as they took to the streets. While I don't know what the future holds for Israeli democracy, it is evident that it is under threat from a radical minority that happens to have control of the Israeli Kennest at present. I have much to say about the situation, and though some folks may have an in-depth understanding of the current state of affairs, I am aware that others may not.

We will have a special guest, the Director of the JCC in Krakow, Poland, joining us for Shabbat services on Friday night. It is essential to hear from Jonathan Ornstein as we attempt to comprehend the crisis that has been occurring in Ukraine over the past year. Due to Jonathan's scheduled visit, I will reserve my comments on the present state of affairs in Israel until the following Shabbat, Friday, March 31st.

This week's Torah portion marks the beginning of Leviticus and centers entirely on the various sacrifices that our ancestors made at the Tabernacle and Temple in Jerusalem. So many people made sacrifices of their time, energy, and leisure, which enabled my family and me to have our sabbatical this past winter. The TBE staff and volunteers went above and beyond, and I am incredibly grateful for all they did. Thank you.

Tue, May 28 2024 20 Iyar 5784