Shavua tov dear friends,

Neomi Summers sent me this lovely prayer and it gave me a thought: what if each of us were to hang a prayer on a virtual prayer tree. If you are inspired to pen a thought, send it in, so we can share your prayers amongst all of us.

From Neomi: In these times of worries about our dear ones far and nearby, I have written a prayer that puts me at ease.


אלוהינו אב הרחמן

שומרנו מכל מחלה ומגפה,

והביא עלינו ועל כל יושבי תבל

בריאות ושלום,

ונאמר אמן

Our God, God of mercy
Guard us from sickness and plagues
And send upon us and all the world inhabitants 
Health and peace
And let us say, Amen


Torah thoughts for the week:

This week we are in Tzav territory; we are learning the roles and rule of the priesthood. We open with words that describe the ritual flame that burns “all night until morning” – seemingly a redundancy. If we have already said “all night” does that not presume the fire will burn until morning? Witin our tradition, from the opening words of Creation we have an established order of time, Vayehierev, veyehiboker – there was evening and there was morning. The light always returns, every morning. Just as weekdays prepare us for the gift of lighting candles to welcome Shabbat, which we then conclude with the flickering flames of the Havdalah candle, so too our love for Torah and for each always returns.

“Great waters cannot douse love.” We must bring our soul-fire into our daily avodah, our daily work/sacrifices. Our pettiness, our grudges and envy, our laziness –all become burnt-offerings upon our altar. The fire that is within us, be it prayer, learning, connection, will burn away all the impurities of our hearts. We see love reflected in our fingernails, a light of hope and connection with each other – even if that connection remains virtual for now.