Courageous Leadership means Courageous Leaders | Parashat Shemini

Rabbi James Bennett | Congregation Shaare Emeth, St. Louis, USA In the midst of the global challenge of the CoVID 19 pandemic, our Torah portion, Shemini, could not be more relevant. The ancient wisdom of the Torah reminds us of the dangers of arrogance, haughty self-interest and selfishness, disregard for communal welfare, and the absence […]

Ma nishtanah haPesach hazeh? | Pesach

Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld | Congregation Albert, New Mexico, USA   Perhaps, this year, the question we should be asking at Seder is:   ׁ?מה נשתנה הפסח הזה – Ma nishtanah haPesach hazeh? Why is this Pesach different from all other Pesachs?   With the COVID-19 pandemic there are some obvious answers. • Going out to […]

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 […]