Shabbat Shalom: Cultivate a spirit of care

Mar 27, 2020 | Article

Shabbat Shalom: Cultivate a spirit of care

Dear JEWISHcolorado family,

Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik, in a sermon, describes three eyes. The first is our physical eye, with which we access and interpret the physical world and one another. The second is the eye of our mind, which transforms a rocky peak from granite and dirt into inspiration and awe and opens us to hindsight and insight and foresight. 

And then there is the soul’s eye, the eye that is most unlimited and with which we sense what Rabbi Pilchik calls the “mystique of the eternal faith.” With the soul’s eye, Abraham envisioned ethical monotheism. With the soul’s eye, Moses saw human indignities. And it is with this eye that God appeared to our ancestors and appears to us today. It is this spiritual eye, working beyond the limitations of our physical eye and even beyond the mind’s eye, that, according to Rabbi Pilchik, grasps the “vision of that which stands beyond and behind and within.” 

This week’s Torah portion, Vayikra, teaches that ancient sacrificial practices once called upon all of our senses to express our love for God. With the destruction of the Second Temple, those ritual sacrifices were transformed into sacrifices of the heart: prayer.

Let us direct the spirit of our sacrifices, our prayers, to the needs and care of neighbors and strangers alike, and let us see each other with the vision of that which stands beyond and behind and within. 

—Rabbi Jay Strear