29 Mar Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Parashat Sh’mini – Shabbat Parah 5776
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Sh’mini as well as mark the third special Shabbat before Passover, Shabbat Parah. On Shabbat Parah we read the special instructions regarding the ritual of the “red heifer” which was used to purify a person who had come in contact with a dead body before they could bring a sacrifice to be offered. Such an instruction was especially important before Passover as each and every person had to bring their pascal sacrifice to the Tabernacle. While we obviously don’t bring our own sacrifices to the Tabernacle, or offer sacrifices in the first place, this commandment does offer us an important reminder that we too need to prepare for Passover. We may not take on issues of purity and impurity, but there is a preparation of spirit (as well as of our homes) that comes with the onset of the holiday. Let’s all make sure that in the few weeks ahead we take the chance to be ready for Passover – it will be here before we know it!
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik