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Parshat Vayikra/Zachor                                                  March 16, 2019  9 Adar II, 5779
                    TORAH                        Rabbi Sacks on Parshat Vayikra
              ARTSCROLL  544           It was never my ambition  marked Russian accent:    parsha, that gives its name
                  HERTZ  410           or aspiration to be a   sirmons). He was also highly   to the entire book: Vayikra,
                                       rabbi. I went to        specific as to where I was to   “He called.” Look carefully
                    MAFTIR             university to study     work: in Jews’ College (today,   at the verse and you will
             ARTSCROLL  1066           economics. I then       the London School of Jewish   see that its construction is
                  HERTZ   856          switched to philosophy. I  Studies), the oldest extant   odd. Literally translated it
                                       also had a fascination
                                                                                           reads: “He called to Moses,
                                                               rabbinical seminary in the
                                       with the great British   English-speaking world. So I   and God spoke to him from
                  HAFTORAH                                      did. I became a teacher at the  the Tent of Meeting,
                                       courtroom lawyers,
             ARTSCROLL  1214           legendary figures like   College, and later its Principal.  saying…” The first phrase
                  HERTZ   995          Marshall Hall, Rufus    Eventually I became – again   seems to be redundant. If
                                       Isaacs and F. E. Smith.   after consulting with the Rebbe  we are told that God spoke
                     Times             To be sure, relatively   – Chief Rabbi. For all this I   to Moses, why say in
                                       late, I had studied for the  have to thank not only the   addition, “He called”? The
           Candle Lighting      6:43 pm   rabbinate, but that was   Rebbe, but also my wife Elaine.  answer is that God’s call to
                                       to become literate in my   She did not sign up for this   Moses was something prior
           Mincha               6:45 pm   own Jewish heritage, not  when we married. It was not   to and different from what
                                       to pursue a career. What  even on our horizon. But   God went on to say. The
           Hashkama             8:00 am
                                       changed me,             without her constant support I  latter were the details. The
           Youth Minyan         8:30 am   professionally and   could not have done any of it.   former was the summons,
                                       existentially, was my                               the mission – not unlike
           Parsha Shiur         8:30 am   second major yechidut –   I tell this story for a reason: to   God’s first call to Moses at
           Main                 9:00 am   face-to-face         illustrate the difference   the burning bush where He
                                                               between a gift and a vocation,
                                       conversation, – with the                            invited him to undertake the
           Beit Midrash         9:15 am   Lubavitcher Rebbe, in   between what we are good at   task that would define his
                                       January 1978. To my     and what we are called on to   life: leading the people out
           Gemara Shiur         5:35 pm                        do. These are two very
                                       surprise, he vetoed all                             of exile and slavery to
           Mincha               6:35 pm   my career options:   different things. I have known   freedom in the Promised
                                                               great judges who were also
                                       economist, lawyer,                                  Land. Why this second call?
           Shabbat Ends         7:52 pm   academic, even becoming   brilliant pianists. Wittgenstein   Probably because the book
           R’ Reisman Video     9:30 pm   a rabbi in the United   trained as an aeronautical   of Vayikra has, on the face
                                                               engineer but eventually
                                       States. My task, he said,                           of it, nothing to do with
           Sun. March 17     7:30/8:30 am   was to train rabbis. There   dedicated his life to philosophy.   Moses. The original name
                                       were too few people in   Ronald Heifetz qualified as a   given to it by the sages was
           Mon. & Thurs.     6:35/7:45 am                      doctor and a musician but
                                       Britain going into the                              Torat Cohanim, “the Law of
           Tue. & Fri.       6:45/7:45 am   rabbinate and it was my   instead became the founder of   the Priests” – and Moses
           Wed.-Thurs.        See Page 5   mission to change that.   the School of Public Leadership   was not a priest. That role
           Ta’anit Esther &              What is more, he said, I   at the John F Kennedy School   belonged to his brother
           Purim Schedule                had to become a       of Government at Harvard. We   Aaron. So it was as if God
                                                               can be good at many things,
           Mincha               6:50 pm   congregational rabbi, not   but what gives a life direction   were saying to Moses: this
                                       as an end in itself but so                          too is part of your vocation.
                   Latest Times for    that my students could   and meaning is a sense of   You are not a priest but you
                Shema/Shemoneh Esrei   come and see how I gave   mission, of something we are   are the vehicle through
                                       sermons (I can still hear   called on to do.        which I reveal all My laws,
           March 16        10:04/11:04 am
                                       in my mind’s ear how he   That is the significance of the   including those of the
           March 23         9:57/10:59 am   said that word with a   opening word of today’s   priests.
                    Next Shabbat
                       Tzav                 Kiddush is provided by Great Neck Synagogue
                                                 To sponsor or jointly sponsor kiddush
           Candle Lighting      6:50 pm
                                                       please contact Mark Twersky
           Mincha               6:50 pm
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