Parashat Vayikra

An Invitation into the Tent

We must pursue a vision of Judaism wherein all Jews feel comfortable entering the tent, and inviting outsiders as well.

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In the case of the specifics of this week's Torah portion, if we are invited to enter the tent just so that we can listen to instructions concerning sacrifices, who would indeed be so motivated? That is why joining with the people becomes so important and why it underlies the instructions concerning sacrifices. God calls Moses, but then Moses must speak to the assembled people. He has to bring them together so that they can all hear and do--something that we learned was possible from the Torah a few weekly portions ago.

Our reasons for entering the tent do not have to be the same as the ones that Moses had, nor do they even have to be the same as those that drive our friends and family members to enter. The important thing is that all feel comfortable not only entering the tent to hear God's voice, but that they return feeling capable of reentering and inviting outsiders in as well.

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Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky

Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky is executive director of the Jewish Outreach Institute and the author of numerous books about Jewish spirituality.