May 27, 2022 |

My Weekly Drash (a mini D'var Torah) - Pinchas

In Parshah Pinchas we find that doing things on time is important. “Command the Israelite people and say to them: Be punctilious in presenting to Me at stated times the offerings of food due Me, as gifts of pleasing odor to Me.” (Num. 28:2) Of course after the destruction of the Temples such sacrifices were no longer possible and were replaced by our daily prayer services. So how come showing up on time isn’t considered important? On the High Holidays there’ll be a minyan – perhaps a few more – at the start of services but by the time the rabbi gives the sermon the place is packed. On Shabbat it may not be quite as obvious but the notion of being “punctilious” has been replaced by the notion of being “fashionably late.” People who complain services are “too long” and “not engaging” might find that it’s because they’re walking into the middle of something that actually has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s like coming into the middle of a movie and complaining that nothing made sense. Try coming to the start of Shabbat services. All those pages you missed just may have what you’ve been seeking.

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Daniel M. Kimmel

Joined: October 2, 2007

Daniel M. Kimmel is a Boston area film critic, lecturer and author. He does these weekly mini-lessons for the Mishkan Tefila Brotherhood's newsletter. You are free to use them for similar purposes.

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