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ACHAREY MOT—KEDOSHIM: The Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Sedras of the Torah
Leviticus 16:1-20:27

The maintenance of purity in the life of Israel comes to a climax in the opening verses of this double sedra with the purification from accumulated impurity on the Day of Atonement.  4,390 more words


Our Plagued House - Parshat Tazria-Metzora/Yom Ha'atzmaut

One of the reasons why William Shakespeare’s plays have held up as among the greatest works of fiction ever composed is that they are saturated with irony, wit, puns, and literary references.  1,461 more words


Survivors' Guilt - Parshat Shemini/Yom Hashoah 2018

The memory is fading. It was inevitable, it’s how life goes, and we’ve been doing some preparation for this moment already for some time. But actually watching as an entire generation of victims and heroes, people who experienced the worst genocidal oppression imaginable, when you notice that they are disappearing from our lives, is unbearable.  1,773 more words


The Poor Person's Sacrifice - Parshat Tzav/Shabbat HaGadol 2018

I’m sure many of us are familiar with the ritual. Neighbors sell their entire homes for the 8-day holiday and fly south to what an alien observing our community might have called annual pilgrimage to the Jewish holy city of Miami.  1,606 more words


Intimacy with the Eibishter - Parshat Vayikra 2018

A funny thing happened to me last week. I was scheduled to give a test to my 7th grade Chumash class at Maimonides, when right before the bell rang, one of my students approached me with a question.  1,483 more words


Moshe's Shining Face - Parshat Ki Tisa 2018

Anti-Semitism can be the result of an education toward hatred of the Jews. It can come from propaganda proclaiming Jews and Israel as powerful or corrupt entities bent on world domination.  1,483 more words


The Personal Cost of Moshe's Leadership - Parshat Tetzaveh 2018

I wonder how many people in this room have heard of the musical Hamilton. A couple of years ago, there was much hype about it in the media because of a non-white cast playing all-white characters, the high quality of its hip-hop-style music, and its positive message about immigrants.  1,587 more words