Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1−11:47)
This Week’s Torah Portion: Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1−11:47)
There are 304,805 letters in the Torah and according to the Talmud the middle letter of the Torah is found in this week’s Portion Sh’mini. That middle letter is the letter “vav” which seems appropriate because the shape of the letter is barely more than a straight line, a dividing line between the beginning of the Torah and its end. The letter “vav” standing in the middle of Leviticus 11:42 is called the “heart” of the Torah.
The Torah is our guide for becoming just and righteous people and building together a just and righteous society. Are we halfway there in learning these lessons from the Torah? Are we halfway there in living these lessons and making them real in our lives and our world? And if not, maybe we need to pick up the pace a little bit. In the words of our teacher Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now when?”