Tuesdays with….Torah

Today was a good day.  I got back to my parenthesis.  During the school year, there are two parentheses in my week, times when the rest of the world is shut out and I relish the caress between the curves.  The first is Shabbat – yes, that’s a highlight all year ’round, I know.  But I feel the absence of my other parenthesis: Tuesday morning Torah class.  On that day I gather with a dozen or so other wise and wonderful women to study, share, engage and learn.   We don’t meet in the summer, so today, sitting in the Sukkah of one of our fellow learners, we enjoyed getting back to our chevruta study selves.

Shehechiyanu, good to see you.

We’ve been meeting for a few years; taking our time to get through the text.  Today we began our encounter with Vayikra, Leviticus.   Each week brings a revelation, so to speak.  Each week, I’ll try to continue the revelation here.

Our teacher, Jane Shapiro, said that if Exodus was all about establishing a relationship between the community Israel and God, and about creating sacred space, then Vayikra is about ritual.  What is ritual? What goes into a ritual?  Why do we seek them out or keep doing them?  We talked about that today – it’s about repetition and consistency; tradition and meaning; intention and the unintended things that stick with people; it’s the vessel and the meaning inside it; it’s the props and accoutrements; it’s the language and procedure; it’s comfort and community.  What do you think of when you think of ritual?    Let’s meet again next Tuesday, if not before.

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