Rabbi's Weekly Message

A Message from Rabbi Lindemann ~ Thursday, April 27

Our Torah portion for this Shabbat, Tazria-Metzora, opens with a discussion of childbirth. Reflecting the religious approach of Leviticus, it presents the topic in the context of rules for ritual purity, detailing the sacrificial offerings to be made after the birth of a girl or a boy. From a modern perspective, this seems somewhat inaccessible and devoid of relevance. But today, as in the past, we still feel the need to respond to the miracle of birth with religious ceremonies that connect us to God. For us that means prayer, so at the time of a Bris or a Baby-naming, we thank God and pray: "Y'hi Ratzon SheYizku Horav (Horeha) L'Gadlo (L'Gadla) L'Torah, L'Huppah, U-L'Maasim Tovim -- May it be God's will that these parents be privileged to raise their child to a life of Torah, the performance of good deeds, and a loving relationship such as they share."

This Shabbat we will also mark the birth of a nation -- Israel Independence Day is Tuesday. For this occasion, too, we offer a prayer:

Avinu She-bashamayim, Rock and Redeemer of the people Israel: Bless the State of Israel, with its promise of redemption. Shield it with Your love; spread over it the shelter of Your peace. Guide its leaders and advisors with Your light and Your truth. Help them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our Holy Land. Deliver them; crown their efforts with triumph. Bless the Land with peace, and its inhabitants with lasting joy. And let us say: Amen.