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    The eighth day – Sh’mini

    A sidra called Sh’mini – “Eighth”? The name indicates dramatic events that occurred on the eighth day after the commencement of the inauguration of the kohanim.

    With this starting point my mind begins to roam. What if there were an eighth day in the week? Not a strange notion in some ancient cultures. But for Judaism seven-day weeks are normative and one couldn’t even contemplate anything different.

    Having seven days enables us to see the week as three days leading up to the Shabbat pinnacle and three days leading down. Shabbat is therefore the presiding genius of the week.

    All roads lead to Shabbat, because that is where the Jew wants to be; all roads lead away from Shabbat, because that is the source of a Jew’s inspiration.

    People who don’t have a Shabbat soon find that they need one. Maybe it is Tuesday that is nominated as their special day, maybe another weekday. Without a weekly highlight every day is a clone of every other.

    There is a sameness about the days and life is inevitably weary, dull, routine and boring.

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