Ahavat Olam

A progressive synagogue in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Shabbat evening, April 22, 2022 קבלת שבת

Ahavat Olam Synagogue welcomes everyone to join us online via Zoom for thoughtful, moving Shabbat evening prayers on April 22, 2022 at 7:30pm, 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/86731808237?pwd=T094RTFrRTdOSW5iME12Q2dMUkRoZz09

The weekly parshah (Torah portion) … well, that’s a bit complicated, because of the way different people in different places observe the Holy Days. For those who observe 8 days of Passover, which includes many, perhaps most congregations outside of Eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel), this Shabbat’s portion is the one for the 8th day of Pesach: Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17, about the Passover offering and the counting of the Omer. For those who observe 7 days of Passover, which includes all congregations in Israel and many (but not all) Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal and some other congregations elsewhere, the portion is Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1-18:30), which includes laws about Yom Kippur and various sexual practices. (It’s in this portion that we encounter the infamous line that is most often used as a justification for homophobia.)

It’s an interesting fork in the road: for the next several months — until the end of July — different congregations will read different Torah portions on the same Shabbat. (There’s often a short hiccup where this is the case, but this year it’s particularly pronounced because the first — and therefore the 8th — days of Pesach fall on Shabbat.) We finally get back on the same track on July 30, when 8th-day-observing congregations catch up by combining the two Torah portions Matot and Masei. (For more information about this phenomenon, see this article: https://outorah.org/p/49153/ — although it’s from a different year, 2018, I’m guessing.)

So which track are we Ahavat Olamniks following? And which Torah portion should we study this week? Come to this Friday evening’s service and find out! My suggestion: study both!

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

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[Image: “Sefirot HaOmer” by Aharon Varady derived from the color correspondences of Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and the design concept of Lauren Deutsch. Each of the seven weeks and days of the Omer is represented by one of the seven lower sefirot: esed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netsa, Hōd, Yesod, and Malkhut (Lovingkindness, Strength, Beauty, Eternity, Splendour, Foundation, and Sovereignty) — the creative emanations through which all the worlds were created and continually sustained, as taught in the cosmology of esoteric Jewish tradition. The first day of the Omer at the top left signifies “esedwithin esed.” The circle below representing the second day signifies “Gevurah within Hesed,” and so forth. The forty-second circle on the bottom row marks the 42nd day of the Omer, Yom Qeshet, Rainbow Day, which is “Malkhut that is in Yesod.”

– From OpenSiddur.org: https://opensiddur.org/prayers/solilunar/solar-cycles/sefirat-haomer/the-order-of-counting-the-omer-in-the-spring/]

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