Acharei Mot and the last day of Pesach

Last Saturday, being the first day of Pesach, the parsha was different from normal and we would have read of the Exodus and, interestingly, from Deuteronomy, of the danger of forgetting God in times of prosperity. Of course, this is the main reason why we celebrate Pesach: to remember, and there is so much to remember. “…the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and a powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders.” We lived in tents, in the desert for forty years, agreed to accept the Covenant and gradually grew into a nation, ready to embark on a huge social experiment inspired by the word of God. We were slaves and we became free. In a way, we all repeat this journey in our own lives.

Now we return to the story in hand. Acharei Mot opens with God giving instructions to Moses for the sacrifices to be offered on Yom Kippur, one of which gives origin to the concept of the scapegoat. Ironically, the Jewish people themselves have often been made scapegoats for the misfortunes of the nations among whom they have lived. The parsha continues with the prohibition against eating blood. And then there are the sexual laws. I will say no more, but leave it to our service leader, who this week will be Liz Berg. Come along at 10.30 to hear her, to pray and to share the Sabbath with like-minded souls.