I grew up going to services. A lot of services. I was adept at counting the ceiling tiles, reaching into the thousands as my grasp of numbers grew more sophisticated. The melodies became part of my life soundtrack; I hummed them as my mind wandered during the rabbi’s sermon.
As the summer passes its midway point, rabbis begin to think seriously about the coming Days of Awe.
You shall each revere your mother and your father, and keep My sabbaths: I the Eternal am your God. (Leviticus 19:3)
Acharei Mot, the first of this week's two parashiyot, begins on an unsettling note—a reminder of the death of Aaron's sons and the suggestion that such tragedies might occur again unless the priests take specified steps to prevent them