Thursday, September 18, 2014 Elul 23, 5774
Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, Leviticus 16:1-20:27
By:
Rabbi Joyce Newmark
It is traditional to wish someone celebrating a birthday ad me'ah v'esrim -- "until 120." However, living a long life is not enough. No matter how many -- or how few -- years we're given, we want them to count. And with this week's double portion, the Torah describes God's prescription for a meaningful life. Toward the end of Acharei...
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TAZRIA-METZORA, Leviticus 12:1-15:33
By:
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
From time to time, we encounter new strains of a virus that science is helpless to control. Imagine what it must have been like in ancient times, when almost every illness was like that. Tsara'at (usually translated as "leprosy," but including a much greater range of ailments of the skin) is the Bible's prime example. No wonder it is labeled...
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SHEMINI, Leviticus: 9:1-11:47
By:
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
One of the most problematic incidents in the entire Bible is the traumatic death of the two sons of Aaron -- Nadav and Avihu -- at the zenith of the dedication of the Sanctuary, which was to be the sacerdotal province of the High Priest, Aaron. This week's Torah reading describes the context of the tragedy, which only increases our...
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Chol Hamoed Pesach, Exodus 13:1-16
By:
Rabbi Joyce Newmark
One of the best-loved passages from the Haggadah, one that makes it into even the most abbreviated seders, is the singing of "Dayenu." A big part of the attraction is undoubtedly the lively, easy-to-croon melody that most of us know well. But when you pay attention to the words, there's a question you have to ask about "Dayenu." The song...
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Tsav, Leviticus 6:1-8-36
By:
Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman
At the moment humans were created, our sages say, God gathered earth from the four points of the compass, as if to promise that wherever we die, the earth will be there to receive us. We are but borrowed soil, gathered and quickened into temporary life. Ever since, we human beings have been yearning for each other's company. This week's...
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