The Mitzvah of Tzav | Parashat Tzav

Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts | Associate Lecturer, Dept of Music, Newcastle University, UK The root tzv in the Tanakh means, of course, command, and the parashah for this week opens with the imperative form of the root – Tzav! Command! ‎ Most people are perhaps better acquainted with the noun form derived from the root, namely, mitzvah. Mitzvah means ‘commandment’, but, if you ask most American Jews what a […]

Judaism, the Voice of Hope | Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei

Rabbi Joel Oseran | Beth Hillel Roma, Italy         We read this Shabbat the double Parashot Vayak’heil-P’kudei which conclude the book of Leviticus. The rabbis are always quick to find meaning in repetitive use of word forms and so they find special meaning in the word Vayak’heil. In our Torah reading for […]

The God Who Kills | Parashat Ki Tisa

Rabbi Rami Shapiro | One River Foundation Torah is a human document written by multiple authors over centuries. As such it reflects both the best and worst of human imagining. We see evidence of both in this week’s parasha: the God who kills and the God who forgives. What so troubled the Israelites that they […]

The Sacred Vestments | Parashat Tetzave

Rabbi Paul Golomb | Senior Scholar of  Vassar Temple, Poughkeepsie, NY, USA Make sacral vestments for your brother Aaron…These are the vestments they are to make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe…On the hem [of the robe], make pomegranates…with bells of gold between them all around. (Ex. 28: 2,4,33) A few months before the celebration […]

Living a Beautiful Life | Parashat Teruma

Rabbi Stacey Blank | Kehilat Shir Chadash, Tzur Hadassah, Israel In Israel, it is common for girls to mark bat mitzvah with a party or other kind of special celebration.  Though it is still unusual, there are more and more young women who mark their twelfth birthday with a ceremony in the synagogue in which […]

Does the World Need More Love or Justice? | Parashat Mishpatim

Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander | Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Charleston, USA. We’re often taught that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, beauty is only skin deep, and we should never judge a book by its cover. But what about when there’s a disconnect between what we’re told is on the inside and what we see on the outside — […]

Leadership lessons from Moses | Parashat Yitro

Rabbi Yuval Keren | Southgate Progressive Synagogue, London, UK Whenever we think of a Biblical role model for a leader – we think of Moses, our teacher. Yet even Moses was not entirely flawless, and even Moses sometimes needed help and guidance, and even Moses sometimes failed. When he first received his mission as he […]

Story and the Crafting of Identity | Parashat Beshalach

Rabbi Becky Hoffman | Associate Rabbi and Religious School Director, Kol Tikvah, Woodland Hills, CA We know the end of the story. Despite the size and power of the Egyptian army, the Israelites will become a free people. The victim will become the victor. The weak will defeat the mighty. But there is one odd […]

How is Bo Profoundly Linked to Bereshit?

Rabbi Joseph Edelheit | founding Rabbi of Associação Israelita Norte Paranaense (Beit Tikvá), Maringa, Brazil Whenever the Sidre Bo approaches, I always remember what I learned when I was a first-year rabbinic student, 1968-69, HUC-JIR-LA, studying up-on-the-hill! The course on commentaries was taught by Rabbi Dr. Stephen M. Passamaneck, z”l whose pedagogical presence was transformative. […]