We have had Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Purim and Pesach. Now Shavu’ot and Tisha B’Av are just round the corner, and before long the year will roll on to Rosh HaShanah.
That’s one way of measuring the passing of time. Another is to follow the passage of the weekly readings.
B’reshit, Sh’mot and now Vayikra have been completed, and next week we will begin the fourth Book, B’midbar. After B’midbar comes D’varim, and lo and behold, we will have been through the whole Torah once again.
To me it is nothing short of remarkable that though this happens every year we never get bored. The B’reshit we read this year is the same one as last year and every year, and the same applies to all the five Books of the Chumash.
The miracle is that we always see something in the readings that we hadn’t noticed previously. Maybe it’s a word, maybe an idea, perhaps an episode, possibly a human figure. Something always succeeds in speaking to us.
Let’s try it this Shabbat. Look at the final sidra of Vayikra and ask yourself what you have seen that you didn’t ever notice before. The sages might well have had this in mind when they said that a person should read the text twice and the translation at least once.