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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

08/24/2023 05:00:19 PM


Cantor Regina Lambert-Hayut

This week’s Torah portion is Ki Teitzei, yet another week of being lectured by Moses about how to live well and prosper. There is such a wide variety of laws ranging from doing the kind and ethical thing…well, under the circumstances of the times, to laws of how to deal with property and people and even the ways to behave regarding the spoils of war. It feels somewhat like Moses is free-associating about what to do in a wide variety of unrelated circumstances. By following these laws properly, we are promised to be richly rewarded with prosperity and length of years.

As Moses speaks, the Israelites are on the precipice of entering a land that they were promised but they do not own or inhabit yet. Preparing to conquer what they hope will be their new homes means that they especially need to prepare for the rules of post-engagement - that is, how they are to behave after they seize the land from the inhabitants and settle on it.

One of these post-engagement commandments truly caught my eye: 

In cases of a skin affection be most careful to do exactly as the levitical priests instruct you. Take care to do as I have commanded them. (Deuteronomy 24:8)

Okay - in my case, I do not have a skin affection and I will not seek the advice of a levitical priest, but it is easy enough for me to translate this verse as: Follow the doctor’s orders!

So, I followed doctors’ orders and yesterday had my surgery as step one of the treatment of my breast cancer. Today, I plan on following doctors’ orders, as well as my religious leaders’ (read: my amazing clergy partners!), our lay leaders (read: the wonderful Board of Trustees and committee chairs) and friends’ advice to lay low and recover as fully as possible.

As a reminder, during the days of wandering in the desert, if someone had a skin disease, they were sent out of the camp to recover. That may have been to avoid spreading disease, but I see the value of taking the needed time for recovery after surgery to regain my health and well being. This is not comfortable or easy for me as I love doing what I do. While I will still deeply hope that I will be back with all of you by the High Holy Days, I do promise to do all I can to rest and rehab so that when I do return to the community, I am ready to be a full participant and partner!

I cannot thank so many of you enough for your kind messages and your support during these challenging days. I am not a good patient, I do not like to be ‘sick’ and I will most likely be kicking and screaming the whole way but I know that you all are with me, reminding me to be patient with my healing. I promise to try!

Wishing everyone an enjoyable rest of your summer and I’ll see you in the New Year!!

Tue, December 5 2023 22 Kislev 5784