The most important commandment | Parashat Yitro

One of the most common and interesting “exercises” in contemporary religious education invites participants first to read and study the “Ten Commandments” or, as they…

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“You shall be holy, for I, the Eternal One your God, am holy” | Kedoshim

For many Jews that must be one of the most recognizable phrases in the Torah. But what does it actually mean? Convention has it that this is an imitatio Dei instruction; having been created in the image of God human beings have to follow God’s example and replicate it in their own society. So far so clear, sort of; but what does ‘being holy’ actually mean?

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Don’t Do That! Why Not? | Acharei Mot

Why does the Haggadah enjoin us not just to remember but to put ourselves in that place, in that moment in time, and believe ourselves to have been part of it? Doing so can connect us across dimensions of time and space, tying Jewish peoplehood together in this foundational narrative.

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The Time-Space Continuum: The Passover Version | Shmini shel Pesach

Why does the Haggadah enjoin us not just to remember but to put ourselves in that place, in that moment in time, and believe ourselves to have been part of it? Doing so can connect us across dimensions of time and space, tying Jewish peoplehood together in this foundational narrative.

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Each itch can reach a pitch in which the catch is a scratch. Or: to be in kin is no sin. | Parashat Tazria

When the request was sent out to WUPJ Rabbis to undertake a commentary on a weekly sidra, within a couple of hours every sidra but one had been taken – This one. I mention this because it is revealing of areas where many Progressive Jews seem to feel uncomfortable or feel perhaps that a specific text has little to say to us of an instructive moral nature.

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CSI (Cohanim Service Investiture): Torah. Blood On The Ear, Thumb, And Big Toe | Parashat Tzav

This week’s Torah portion Tzav צו (Leviticus 6:1-8:36) contains a verse that reads like a crime scene! (…) I can easily imagine Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Cagney & Lacey, Elvis Cole, even Frank and Joe Hardy, approaching this spectacle with surprise and shock. I can hear them consulting with officers on the scene, “you mean, blood is to be found only on the right ears, thumbs, and big toes of the victims?”

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Drawn To Offer | Parashat Vayikra

In the Jewish world of sacred reflectional reading, this week marks a major transitional period, as we progress onward and forward through the holy pathways of Torah.

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