It is not obvious that the compilers of the Torah chose to finish the third book of the Torah with a set of blessings and curses. A similar section of blessings and curses, yet much longer, is found at the end of Deuteronomy, the fifth Torah book.
This week brings us Yom Y'rushalayim (May 8 / 28 Iyar), one of several Jewish holidays commemorating events of war in the modern State of Israel. This one recalls Israel's "recovery" of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967.
The sign read, "We've got to stop it," and under it a woman sat alone at a table in the grocery store parking lot. The sign also contained the words "domestic violence," so I walked over. She greeted me warmly, "I'm trying to put a face to it. To say it could happen to anyone.
In this week's double parashah, B'har/B'chukotai, we read (among many other topics) of the mitzvah to observe the yovel, the fiftieth "Jubilee" year.
I was walking to lunch with a good Christian friend, a minister who was inviting me to join in a charitable project his congregation had just begun. We passed a beggar on the street.
The last parashah of the Book of Leviticus offers a kind of coda to this Torat Kohanim, " Torah of the priests." One might say that it draws to an inauspicious close, very different from the other books of our Bible.
Hear, O Israel! The Eternal is our God, the Eternal alone. You shall love the Eternal your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children.