Shemini: “Eighth”
Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47

The L-rd called to Moses
as gently as a father to a child

Teaching him the laws of the land

When to sacrifice

Who to honor

How to pray

Yes the ways to lead the people to praise the I Am

Even what of the sprawling earth or crashing sea

The cleft of hoof
or scale of fish

Might be honored at one’s table

G-d indeed provides a vast array of joy

An Earth that spins forth grain to eat

The goodness of wine to quench summer’s thirst
and food in endless supply

We are not asked to do without

To suffer in not eating certain things that swim
or flying hunters of the air

Rather G-d guards

Protects

Loves

Wrapping our healthy bodies
the temples where His commandments dwell

In an embrace of purity

Burning forever bright
in a mantle of joy

Rabbi Tad Berga


(Rabbi Tad Berga is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and bereavement counselor who currently serves Seasons Hospice in Pinellas, Florida. )
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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES