A Reflection from Rabbi Sandra
This week we begin the third book of the Torah Vayikra, also known as Leviticus, and we read Parsha Vayikra, meaning, “And God calls.” In this Torah portion, God is calling out to Moses. In the Torah, when God calls, we are expected to answer, and we are asked to do something. God called Abraham and said Lech-Lecha (Go)! God called to Moses at the burning bush and said, “Moses! Moses!” And in this week’s Torah, God calls to Moses again.
In thinking about this week’s Torah portion, I can’t help but think about what does it mean at this moment to be called? What does it mean to be called in this time of physical, social distancing? I believe that each of us is called with the challenge to find something that is meaningful in our lives.
We all miss being on campus, I miss walking around and having my walk to the next destination interrupted by conversations with students, and I miss hearing your voices at the Hillel house. At this moment, our calling is to listen. We are called to listen to those who know more than us. We are called to physically distance ourselves not just to keep ourselves from being sick but to ensure that we don’t make others sick.
Many of us are grieving. We are grieving the loss of not being together and having our lives interrupted. We can use this time to remember to be grateful and to offer gratitude for the things that we have been given in life. And we can use this time in our lives to be creative. Is there a project that you have always wanted to start, but there was no time? Well, now is the perfect time to learn something new. Is there a book you want to read that you could not find the time to read? Well, now is the best time to curl up with a good book. At this moment, we are called to lean into our creatives selves, thank God for our blessings and to remember that we are not alone.
Rabbi Sandra Lawson received ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in June 2018. She has served in the United States Army as a Military Police person with a specialty in Military Police Investigations, specializing in cases involving child abuse and domestic violence. Rabbi Sandra uses her rabbinic training to bring Judaism to where people already are in their lives. As a rabbinical student Rabbi Sandra received a prestigious grant to lead Shabbat services for unaffiliated Jews in a vegan cafe. She also received a grant to launch her podcast Minutes of Torah. Her vision as a Rabbi is to help build a more inclusive Jewish community where all who want to come are welcomed, diversity is embraced and we can come together to learn and to pray.