Shabbat Shalom!

Parshat Vayikra


Just as Israel is in stay-at-home mode, so, now, is Luzerne County.
Temple Israel is asking everyone to worship from home and we are not having in person Shabbat or Minyan services this week. 
Our office is closed this week along with the JCC.
But if you have any concerns please contact Rabbi Kaplan
at 570-357-5367 for text or voice, 
and email at rabbi@templewb.org or reply to this email blast.

Erev Shabbat services on our  Facebook page  5:15 pm
Shabbat Morning at 10:00 am

While we've had limited success with a program called Zoom to include pages available online for our Siddur, we won't be fully functional until next Shabbat.


Follow our daily Minyan every day at 5:15 
and Shabbat morning at 10:00 am

We are collecting donations to the Discretionary Fund to help those in need of assistance with no paychecks coming in. Checks can be sent to the Discretionary Fund at 
Temple Israel, 613 SJ Strauss Lane, Kingston, PA 18704



This is how the Torah Portion Vayikra begins from the Torah scroll. "And God called (Vayikra) to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting, saying: Speak to the Israelite People...."

As you can see, the letter Alef at the end of the first word on the right, Vayikra, is smaller than the other letters. For all we know the scribe writing the manuscript left the letter out, and tried to fit it in after the fact, and subsequent manuscripts were simply copied in the same manner.

Oy, such an unspiritual, pragmatic suggestion! Perhaps it's better to use the common homiletical interpretations which suggest that Moses, being such a humble fellow, wanted to minimize the status of having been called directly by God.

Elsewhere in the Torah the word VAYIKAR (without the Alef) can mean calling to a group so VAYIKRA (With the Alef) suggests calling just to one person, face to face. Moses asked to spell the word without the Alef, but God insisted that he spell it with the Alef, and Moses, in his humility, used a very tiny Alef to do God's will.

Maybe. I'm still thinking it was a scribal error.
But this Shabbat, maybe it really is intentional. We can't worship face to face this week because of the precautions concerning the virus. And so we all need to practice physical distancing and instead of meeting God face to face when He calls, we literally use our faces from afar through Facebook Live this week. 

And if that's not convincing, how about this meme my wife just sent me:
And who is the author of this week's Haftorah which Debbie Troy 
will chant tomorrow (remotely)? 

Isaiah (Chapter 43).

Shabbat Shalom