Today is December 15, 2019 -
When I was asked a few months ago by our chair-elect to add the weekly Torah reading to our Friday e-mail, I happily complied. Easy thing to do–positive outcome–no brainer.
Starting this week, we have an interesting anomaly.
Jews in Israel celebrate seven days of Passover ending Friday and will be reading Parshat Shmini on Shabbat morning. Conservative and Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora (outside of Israel) celebrate an 8th day of Passover (more on this another time), and therefore suspend the weekly Torah reading and instead read a special 8th day of Passover Torah reading this Shabbat morning. Everyone will sync back up on May 16, when Diaspora Jews read the double portion of Behar-Bechokotai, and in Israel they read the single portion of Bechokotai.
Reform Jews in the Diaspora present an interesting case. Like in Israel, celebration of Passover ends on Friday with Parshat Shmini resuming this Shabbat. However, in an effort to re-sync with others in the Diaspora, Reform Jews have divided Parshat Shmini into two sections with Shmini I read this Shabbat and Shmini II read next Shabbat.
So, this Shabbat, if you want to hear part of Parshat Shmini, visit a Reform synagogue. If you want to hear all of Parshat Shmini, visit a synagogue in Israel, and if you want to hear the special reading for the 8th day of Passover, visit a Conservative or Orthodox synagogue in the Diaspora. If you have other plans for Shabbat–I don’t judge. (My apologies if I’m missing anyone.)
Please do not hesitate to call me with any more “simple” requests to fulfill our mission and enhance the lives of all Jews in Northeastern New York and around the world.