Ahavat Olam

A progressive synagogue in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Shabbat morning, April 9, 2022 תפילת שבת

Ahavat Olam Synagogue welcomes everyone to join us on line via Zoom in thoughtful, moving Shabbat morning prayers on April 9, 2022 at 10:00 am, mostly sung, much in Hebrew, some in English, some in the language of the heart and in the speech of the angels.

Please join us if you can: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87961573615?pwd=eHRTWEV6dDNneWs2U2M5a0dIVHNVdz09  

The weekly parshah (Torah portion) is Metzora (Leviticus 14:1 – 15:33). Moses learns the purification ritual for people and buildings afflicted with — well, it’s usually translated as “leprosy” but the Hebrew “tzara’at” included a number of conditions involving swelling, discolouration, rash, or scaly affection. In the Haftarah portion (II Kings 7:3-20), the city of Samaria is besieged by the Arameans and suffering dire famine. Four lepers, shut out of the city because of their condition, discover to their surprise that the Arameans have hastily abandoned their camp and given up the siege, leaving all their provisions and equipment behind. The four lepers carry the good news to the city, saving the starving inhabitants within the walls.

Many individuals and groups are “shut out” of our lives and communities for their perceived conditions, afflictions, or transgressions. Sometimes those outcasts have important news for us. Sometimes we ourselves can feel cast out; it can be difficult in that circumstance to bring our truth — important though it may be, to us and to the world — to those around us.

If you have questions, please write to info@ahavat-olam.ca.


Photo of D'Arcy Island, BC

[BC has had its share of racist tensions around fears of illness. Recently, we’ve seen COVID fuelling racism; in the 19th century, it was leprosy. (Content warning: this history includes appalling examples of brutally callous treatment.) Here, courtesy of Ebklassen / Wikimedia Commons (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/00/D%27Arcy_Island.jpg/640px-D%27Arcy_Island.jpg), is a photograph of D’Arcy Island, near Victoria, where dozens of men suspected of having leprosy, most of them Chinese, were isolated and essentially left to die. And here are some articles about some of the history and connected issues:

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