top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

The Summit

Parshat Vayikra is the book in the middle. It seems to be separate from the other books of the Torah, which contain stories; instead it serves as reference book for the Kohanim and presents a system of laws to strictly guide a budding, but disconsolate nation. In the books of B'reisheet and Shemot there were stories to read, personal and national connections with God, which created multiple ways for a learner to connect to the text, but Sefer Vayikra presents as the opposite with few stories and lots of restrictions.

It's hard to imagine that Sefer Vayikra used to be and sometimes is still used today as the starting point for children to study Torah. As a religion that no longer practices sacrifice, be they animal, birds or grains, understanding Vayikra is challenging and maybe even a bit boring. That doesn't mean, however that we should stop trying. Occasionally moments of discovery occur in even the most unlikely places; places that seem obscured by a heavy layer of clouds. For this reason it is worth it to look between the lines, examining what others have said to help us along our way and fully reveling in those moments of illumination, even if they are rare, which might be stronger because the meaning is that much harder to discover.

Here we go. Parshat Vayikra and Sefer Vayikra awaits. We've been climbing mountains during Breisheet and Shemot; let's see what we find once we get to the top.

Hoping for good news soon. It's unlikely that I will post again before Purim, so wishing you a Purim Sameach.



The Summit

Not all hikers reach the mountain top and see the glory of a pink and orange sunset.

After the climb, strenuous and muddy, the summit is covered by leaden clouds The wind blows in their faces and They Stand between two worlds, scanning, searching for what is Above and what lies Below


all is shrouded in mystery

gray hangs heavy


in one spot

clouds part

the fog lifts

Just for a moment the  hidden colors are revealed and the hikers view the valley far below, bathed in yellows and emerald greens and the brilliance of the sky is viewed

just for a moment

through the clouds

as the sun performs its daily ritual

and sets.

And it is then

that the clouds close and the mountain top is once again swallowed in grays, but

That Moment of Light


hovering behind the clouds,

and they remember.

It was worth the mud, slippery rocks, the exhausting trek. This is why they climb

The Mountain.

Again and again.

Again and again.

Again and again.

always with the hope that the clouds will part.

Sometimes they catch the sunset, full and glorious and sometimes the sky closes over them and they are humbled, but sometimes there is that tiny moment of brightness on the summit.

Other posts from Words Have Wings on Parshat Vayikra:

A poem about salt and role that it plays in our religious lives still, thousands of years after Korbanot were eliminated. In Seven Days explores the time that Aaron and his sons learned and prepared for the first sacrifices. The Grand Old Table explores the role that our dining tables play in our religious lives to this very day.

52 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page