Tagged: judaism

Ki Tetze: A Divine Challenge

Parashat Ki Tetze is one of my favorites–not because of the litany of seemingly unrelated, and in some cases, harsh laws, but because it contains the first topic I studied in my “Intro to...

a labyrinth with sonnets and candles.

Mourning and Memory

Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, is a day of national and collective mourning for the Jewish people. On this date in 586 BCE and again in 70CE, Jerusalem,...

The Challenges of Leadership

A record (remember those?) I used to listen to was called “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish” by Bob Booker and George Foster. At about the 12-minute mark is a sketch called, “The Presidents.”...

Two people blindfolded and reaching out to each other across the sky.

Who Can You Trust?

I’ve never subscribed to the idea that illness and misfortune are Divine retribution for sins, and while our sacred texts–especially the Prophets–clearly relate bad things that happen to the people Israel’s sinful behavior, I...

Trouble for the Kohen with Trouble

  This Shabbat we read parashat Emor, which includes a discussion about certain physical conditions that disqualify a kohen from performing his sacrificial duties. Leviticus 21:17-23 list these conditions–blemishes, limps, a hunchback, a broken...

The Year of Narrowing

The Year of Narrowing

Mitzrayim, “the narrow places.” In our Torah reading cycle, we left Mitzrayim, the Hebrew word for the lands of Egypt, weeks ago, but in our calendar, we’re just two weeks away from retelling the...

The Kindness of Our Hearts

This year, National Random Acts of Kindness week leads up to one of my favorite Torah readings, Terumah. Teruma means “gift,” or “donation.” As the Israelites are traveling in the wilderness of Sinai, they’re...

The Rules We Live By

Divin In this week’s Torah reading, Mishpatim, the Torah enumerates many, many laws governing human behavior and actions. Amazingly, the very first ordinance has to do with the proper treatment of Hebrew slaves; they...