Friday, December 26, 2014 Tevet 4, 5775
NASO, Numbers 4:21-7:89
By:
Rabbi Fred V. Davidow
"May God bless you and protect you. May the light of God's face shine toward you and show you favor. May God look upon you with favor and grant you peace." This threefold Priestly Benediction, which appears in this week's parshah, has played a central role in Jewish ceremony because it articulates our most basic and highest aspirations. The psychologist...
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BEMIDBAR, Numbers 1:1-4:20
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
Shabbat morning we begin reading from Bemidbar, the book of Numbers. This year, on Saturday night, we celebrate the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai with the start of Shavuot. This is a little mixed up, since in the chronology of the Torah, the book of Numbers begins after we have received the Torah at Sinai. Numbers recounts the...
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BEHAR, Leviticus 25:1-27:34
By:
Rabbi Adam Zeff
This week's Torah reading has a special Philadelphia connection. It contains the words inscribed on the Liberty Bell: "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (Leviticus 25:10). The Liberty Bell was originally created to mark the 50th anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter of Privileges, and it later became associated with the Declaration of Independence and,...
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EMOR, Leviticus 21:1-24:23
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
The portion we read this week is named after the fourth word in the opening sentence: emor , speak. "God, said to Moses, speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron ... " Following the directions for holiness outlined in K'doshim, the previous portion, Emor continues to establish guidelines and parameters for creating and sustaining the holy community. Near the...
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AHAREI-MOT-KEDOSHIM, Leviticus 16:1-20:27
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
Much of the Book of Leviticus seems preoccupied with holiness. After listing all of the laws of kosher and non-kosher animals, the Almighty -- in the Torah portion of two weeks ago, known as Shemini -- commands the Jewish people not once, but twice to "be holy because I am holy." So, too, this week: After listing forbidden relationships, the...
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