Shabbat Vayikra Shalom

by Phyllis Chesler

The scales of justice, as portrayed by Salvador Dali, are in motion, uneven, our world is out of balance; the four horsemen are at full gallop, the outcome remains unclear. Horrified, nightly, we all view footage of the atrocities—but remain unable, perhaps unwilling, to do anything. Oh, where can we go to admit our sins, both those of omission and commission?

5.1 If a person sins (“V’nefesh te hatah”), and heard an oath demanding his testimony in a case where he is a witness; if he either saw or knew (something relevant), and if he does not testify (“Eem lo yagid”), he will bear the burden of his iniquity (“v’yasah evono”).

What secular priest can absolve us now? Can a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst really take the place of the Kohen Ha-Gadol? Can a judge or even a criminal tribunal? If not, where may we confess and atone for our terrible inability to stop evil? We are witnesses, we are seeing what’s happening in real time. Where and when will we be able to testify? The Rasha will not stop. Like Amalek, he will have to be stopped. Perhaps our parsha has some advice for us at this very moment in history. If so, can anyone find it for me?

Shabbat Vayikra Shalom.