…and He called to Moses, speaking to him from the Communion Tent. These are the words with which the parsha of Va-yikra launches Leviticus, the third book in our annual cycle. God instructs Moses in the intricate rituals of sacrifice. There are many kinds of offering, some freely made by any member of the community, peace and sin offerings, one for the High Priest, one for the King (though there is not yet a King to sin) those for the community and those for commoners. There are also offerings for unintentional sins, for misappropriation and for dishonesty. Some of the sacrifices allow people who cannot afford to bring an animal to substitute it with a pair of birds and, if they cannot afford these, they may bring wheat meal. There is a whole range of animals – kosher, of course –  doves and flour indicated for different purposes The manner of their preparation and sacrifice must have required much study and care on the part of the priests.

The laws relating to offerings continue in Tzav, whose commands cover what may be eaten of the sacrifices and how. It goes on to deal with the installation of the priests. That is all there is to be found in this announcement, but you may find out much more and share in the joy of Shabbat by coming to this week’s service, which will be held at 10.30. Adam Feldman will be leading us.