Saturday, August 2, 2014 Av 6, 5774
By:
Rabbi Shmuel Jablon, JE Feature
In the Talmud, the festival of Shavuot is normally referred to as "Atzeret," which, roughly translated, means a "day of assembly." However, the word implies even more, since atzeret signifies a closing day of assembly. For example, after the festival of Sukkot comes Shemini Atzeret, the "Eighth Day of Assembly." Though it is, in the words of the sages, "a...
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BEHAR-BEHUKOTAI, Leviticus 25:1-27:34
By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
The concluding parshot of Leviticus offer us an interesting glimpse into our tradition. Parshah Behar mandates the Sabbatical and Jubilee years: One year in every seven, the land was to rest and replenish itself. Every 50 years, all slaves were set free and land returned to its original owners. These ideals were so moving, the words were inscribed on the...
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AHAREI MOT-KEDOSHIM, Leviticus 16:1-20:27
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
Living within the world, yet apart from it: It's not an easy task. Politics, for instance, abounds with many examples of people who embarked on missions of change, only to become what they had originally crusaded against. But according to Judaism, such an outlook on life is necessary to both perfect the world and reach ever-higher spiritual heights. This week's...
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EMOR, Leviticus 21:1-24:23
Blasphemy, blame and blessing: Can we break the cycle of violence? What is blasphemy? Most widely understood as disrespect for God or that which is considered sacred, blasphemy is in the international news. In January, a new law went into effect in Ireland stating that any abusive utterance concerning sacred matters of any religion is punishable by a fine of...
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TAZRIA-METZORA, Leviticus 12:1-15:33
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
When we read the double portion of Tazria-Metzora, it is easy to fixate on all the gory details of eruptive affections, white swellings and greenish streaks that the portions describe so meticulously. Our immediate reaction is "yuck." These yucky things throw us into a state of tamei, which is translated as "unclean" or "impure." We tend to think of purity...
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