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A Jealous Guy
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There was once a man who was blessed in many ways: he was smart, he was wealthy and he came from a very good family. His name was Korah. From the outside it looked like he had everything going for him, but something went wrong: there was a tragic malfunction and his beautiful life crumbled […]
A Divine Rendezvous
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Group dynamics are interesting and complex.Individuals who come from different places,geographically or emotionally, see the same situation in different ways. In the episode of the so-called spies, this phenomenon repeats itself over and over. The first instance may be seen in the divergent reports delivered by the twelve emissaries who are sent to scout the […]
The Seven Books
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One God, two Tablets, three patriarchs, four matriarchs, and five books of the Torah; that is how the song from the Haggadah goes, as every Jewish child knows. The corpus of our Written Law has long been identified as the Five Books of Moshe, the Humash (derived from the Hebrew word hamesh, meaning five) or […]
The Sin of Asceticism
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There are times in a person’s life that holiness becomes a conscious goal, a state of mind and body that he or she actively pursues,a desideratum. However, the quest to achieve a higher plane of existence, to attain spiritual elevation,is not always a simple or straightforward path. The desire for spirituality can lead us along […]
The Theory of Conservation of Holiness
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As the Book of B’midbar begins, the Israelites have been encamped at the foot of Sinai for over a year, and we begin to sense a stirring that will soon become forward movement: First, instructions are given for conducting a census, followed by demarcation of marching formations and tribal flags. The mass of people who […]
There’s No Place Like Home
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Unfortunately, sometimes relationships deteriorate, and when they do, each side has thoughts about the wisdom of continuing, of staying together. Is the heartache worth it, the emotional cost justifiable? What if the relationship in question is between God and His Chosen People? What happens when that relationship deteriorates? If they have a “trial separation,” what […]
Dayenu!
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Modern colloquial Hebrew uses an ancient rabbinicism when asking what two seemingly disparate subjects have to do with one another. The phrase, drawn from comments on the first verse of Parashat B’Har, is:“What does Shmittah have to do with Mount Sinai?” This week’s Torah reading begins with what seems to be superfluous information: “God spoke […]
Teach Your Children
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As is often the case, the name of this week’s parasha is taken from a word in the very first verse:emor- “speak”. In fact, the act of speech appears three times in this verse: And God said to Moshe: Speak to the kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let none [of you] […]
Teach Your Children
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As is often the case, the name of this week’s parasha is taken from a word in the very first verse: emor – “speak”. In fact, the act of speech appears three times in this verse: And God said to Moshe: Speak to the kohanim, the sons of Aharon, and say to them: Let none […]
A Nation of Priests
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From the beginning of the book of Vayikra, our attention has been focused on the Mishkan and the rituals to be performed in it. When viewed as a corpus, the myriad laws that comprise “Leviticus” up to this point establish the Mishkan as the epicenter of the Jewish People – both in the geographical sense, […]