Saturday, July 4, 2015 Tammuz 17, 5775
TZAV, Leviticus: 6:1-8:36
By:
Rabbi Alan Iser
Purim is the strangest of Jewish holidays, and Megillat Esther is a strange biblical book. One of the many peculiar aspects of the holiday is the role of the consumption of alcoholic beverages. There are no less than six drinking parties in the book of Esther, four initiated by King Achashverosh or Queen Vashti and two by Queen Esther. The...
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Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
I've played it on two continents and answered the questions wrong in two languages. It's a television game show called "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" -- and, yes, it's already in Israel. So let's play. The category is fifth-grade American history. Question: What do these famous people -- Richard Johnson, George Dallas and William King -- have in...
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Pekudei, Exodus 38:21-40:38
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Some years ago in that bastion of Americana known as Readers Digest , I recall reading about a survey conducted by Art Linkletter with a group of youngsters. They were asked what was the most popular book in their house? It was a virtual tie between mommy's cookbook and daddy's checkbook. Yes, times have changed. Just ask Chef Emeril Lagasse...
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Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20
By:
Rabbi David Gutterman
Contained within these words just might be the most daring and necessary claim of Judaism: Vayakeil Moshe et kol adat B'nei Yisrael -- "Moses assembled the entire community of Israel." This first word should sound familiar to you because it is arguably the foundation upon which the entire structure of Judaism is affixed. You should hear the word kehillah --...
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KI TISA, Exodus 30:11-34:35
By:
Rabbi Alan Iser
This week's Torah portion, whose centerpiece is the story of the Golden Calf, presents us with a typology of three different kind of leaders: Moses, Aaron and Chur. Two are household names, but Chur is not so well-known. Chur is mentioned at the end of Parashat Mishpatim. When Moses ascends Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of the covenant, he...
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