Thursday, November 27, 2014 Kislev 5, 5775
ACHAREI MOT-KEDOSHIM, Leviticus 16:1-20:27
By:
Rabbi Craig Axler
The second of this week's Torah portions -- Kedoshim -- begins with one of the most familiar phrases (and difficult tasks) of Jewish learning: "You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God am holy." The verse serves as an indication that the entirety of this portion will be concerned with one question: What does it mean to be...
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TAZRIA-METZORA, Leviticus 12-1-15:33
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Were you to ask what our tradition attributes as the first thing created by God, you no doubt would be tempted to go to the first verse of the Torah, the road map of creation and our blueprint for Jewish life. Bereshit bara Elokim et hashamayim v'et ha'aretz : "In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth"...
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OMER, Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
This day on the Jewish calendar was momentous and writ large: Rosh Chodesh Nissan. The new month of Nissan had arrived, and with it came the dedication of God's Tabernacle. Though housing a physical structure, the Tabernacle was meant to be a focal point for engaging with a metaphysical yet profoundly felt Divine Presence. Its official inauguration was cause for...
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CHOL HAMOED, OMER, Exodus 33:12-34:26
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
You're probably tempted to sing the words right now as you read; it is, after all, a sonorous "spiritual of old." "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last." But let's recall that we, the Jewish people, wrote the original score. We say it; we pray it -- so it must be true. Pesach...
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TZAV, SHABBAT HAGADOL, Leviticus 6:1-8:36
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Historically, it's been suggested, rabbis waxed oratorical and preached to their congregations on only two Sabbaths of the year: Shabbat Shuva and Shabbat Hagadol -- the former right before Yom Kippur, the latter before Passover. (Is this what people mean when they say: "Rabbi, how I miss the good old days!") Why is this week called "The Great Shabbat"? The...
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