Shabbat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Lev. 16:1-20:27)

Not nearly as exciting as Metzorah, Acharei Mot discusses a variety of laws and actions. There’s some funny ideas, like “putting” the sins of the entire tribe of Israel onto a goat and setting it free in the wilderness. Then there are the details of what needs to be done during Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur got us thinking about fasting (which is NOT something we do around Passover). Fasting... read more

Shabbat Tazria-Metzorah (Lev. 12:1-15:33)

Tazria begins the discussion of situations where people, places or things are “unclean” or “impure” – which may or may not be as negative as it sounds. However, the very first thing in Tazria (“When she gives birth”) is babies. After a woman gives birth, she is considered impure for a certain number of days (different for a boy versus a girl). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Could it be a liturgical... read more

Shabbat Shmini (Lev. 9:1-11:47 )

After 4 (or was it 5) glasses of wine at Passover last week, the theme this week might seem obvious at first blush. But our fevered brains had different reasons for this strange idea. Abducted by aliens? An idea which hit us like a bolt from the blue? Out of the frying pan and into the fire? Your burning questions will have to wait… This week Nadab and Abihu – Levites Gone Wild, do something wrong during... read more

In Support of Retelling the Story

Here in our cozy homes, secure in the womb of technology and modernity, surrounded by such effortless wealth and comfort that would dazzle King Solomon himself, it becomes difficult for many of us to justify retelling a story of a time so challenging, miserable and incomprehensible as the Exodus from Egypt (or the Shoah, or any extended period of communal strife). “Life is hard enough” we tell... read more

Shabbat Pesach 8 (Deuteronomy 15:19 – 16:17 & Numbers 28:19 – 28:25)

As mentioned last week, in honor of Passover we are taking a break from the Leviticus cycle to jump forward in Torah. This week, our first stop is Numbers 28, where we read about more sacrifices (oh, THAT’S different from what we’ve been reading in Leviticus. Sigh. Haven’t we suffered enough already?). …and onward to Deuteronomy 15, where, like looking into a mirror, we read about... read more

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