The four special Shabbats leading up to Pesach are God’s proscription for purification before the major festival of Passover to begin the Jewish calendar year. And you thought it was all about getting rid of the Chametz and purchasing your ‘unleavens.’ Like all major Holy Days, the Torah guides the way with preparatory parashot to put us in the right frame of mind to participate in our festivals in the right spirit.
Shabbat Shekalim starts with the equitable contribution to the holy community with each of us giving our half-shekel. It is followed by Shabbat Zachor to remember our past, both its triumphs and desecrations. Shabbat Parah, the “Red Heifer” is about purification, this week’s parsha of Ki Tissa, a much needed element considering it is the narrative involving the Golden Calf incident and the redeeming second set of Tablets containing the Law carried down the mountain after Moses, once again, rescues the B’nei Yisrael from total annihilation. It took two tries. We are not called a ‘stiff-necked people’ in this parsha for nothing. Finally, just before Pesach, we have Shabbat Ha-Chodeh which concerns forgiveness, reconcilliation and specific instructions for Passover.
By that time, we ought to be both spiritually prepared and physically strong to meet Pesach with gusto!
In this week’s service, led by Pat, you will learn more about what it takes to be purified, have a greater understanding of what God wants from us through the revelation of His thirteen attributes of mercy and learn that there is more to Aaron than meet the eye.