This drash starts in a bar. I know that’s a bit unconventional for Yom Kippur, but please bear with me. Last year, I met Tim, my spouse at a midtown bar for afterwork drinks with his colleagues. It was also a goodbye party for someone who was leaving. At some point, champagne was brought out, poured into flutes and distributed to all as part of his goodbye toast.
Of the 30 or so people there, who had their pick off the bar’s menu, no one had ordered champagne. Who would? Yet, because it was a toast, we all put down our beers, whiskey, cocktails to pick up flutes of fizzy wine. Toasting is an odd ritual when you think about it.
Dvar Torah given at Kehilat Hadar, August 23, 2014
Re’eh contains the laws of what you can and can’t eat- a system that evolves into Kashrut as we know it. And there are many rules. Rules about separate dishes and about kosher certifications, special rules that apply to knives especially if they are used to cut onions and chilis. And then there’s Passover!
Dana has the lovely custom of going for a photo outing in memory of her grandfather’s yahrtzeit. A couple of times now, I’ve tagged along. These were taken along the East River between 59th and 88th st.
It is such an honor for me to be here tonight, for the installation of my father Rabbi Randall Konigsburg.
Just this morning we read about the details, rites and rituals of the portable sanctuary. Over and over, we read that all was built to precise specification, according to God’s instructions. For example, one verse reads:
ויעש משה ככל אשר צוו ה’ אותו כן עשה
And Moses did all that God commanded him to do, so he did. (Exodus 40:16)