Parsha Talk Acharei Mot 2024 5784 Yom Hashoah

Parsha Talk with Rabbis Eliot Malomet, Barry Chesler and Jeremy Kalmanofsky. Parashat Acharei Mot [Leviticus 16-18] consists of 3 chapters, each with its own theme: chapter 16 is devoted to Yom Kippur, with its emphasis on the purification of the sanctuary; chapter 17 treats proper forms of worship, to borrow a phrase from Baruch Levine’s JPS Commentary on Leviticus; and, chapter 18 deals primarily with the biblical incest taboo, which at its heart speaks to the definition of the family. With the end of Passover 5784 taking place yesterday, as I write, we enter a period of the Jewish calendar sometimes called the “yoms” [Hebrew for day], with the upcoming observances of Yom HaShoah [Commemoration of the Holocaust, Sunday night-Monday, May 5-6], Yom HaZikaron [Israel’s Memorial Day, Sunday night-Monday, May 12-13], Yom Ha-Atzma’ut [Israel’s Independence Day, Monday night-Tuesday, May 13-14], and Yom Y’rushalayim [marking the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty in the 6-Dat War [Tuesday night-Wednesday, June 4-5].
In our conversation this week we mostly talked about Yom HaShoah. How do we, should we commemorate the Holocaust? Is there, and should there be, a liturgy for its observance? What does it mean in this year of war in Israel and Gaza? Give a listen and let us know what you think either here, below, or at [email protected].
As the war nears the end of its 7th month, we are ever mindful of the hostages and their families, and the men and women who defend Israel as soldiers in the Israel Defense Force. May the hostages be speedily returned to their homes; may the soldiers be removed from harm’s way. Shabbat Shalom.