Covering the Blood Before Us

Read full article  | 0 Comments

ONTorah_RabbiYanklowitzPost

Mot, Leviticus 16:1-18:30
April 8, 2014

In the Torah portion of Acharei-Mot, we learn the obligation of “kisui ha’dam,” to cover the blood produced from slaughtering (Leviticus 17:13). Commentators take a number of different approaches to explain the reason for this mitzvah. Rambam argues that this ritual is meant to distance Jewish practice from pagan blood rites. He suggests that pagans […]

Read More

Empathy Activism

Read full article  | 0 Comments

superman-sam

Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:33
April 2, 2014

On March 31, 2014, along with dozens of my colleagues, I shaved my head. Bald. Not just short. Bald. To paraphrase the babies from “Free to Be You and Me,” “Bald as a ping-pong ball.” Why? The simple answer is that we joined “36 Rabbis Shave for Brave” to raise money for children’s cancer research […]

Read More

Life on the Margins

Read full article  | 0 Comments

1830937871_1367892466

Tazria, Leviticus 12:1-13:59
March 26, 2014

What does it feel like to live at the edge, on the margins of community? The Torah reading for this week, Tazria, seems to imply that it can be a very lonely experience. When someone from the Israelite community is found to have leprosy (“tzaraat”), a disease of the skin, that person is removed from […]

Read More

Learning to Live with Loss

Read full article  | 0 Comments

הרב_לאו

Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47
March 19, 2014

In its March 26, 2013, obituary of Rabbi Herschel Schacter, The New York Times recounts the dramatic and poignant encounter that Schacter, the first Jewish chaplain to pass through the gates of the notorious concentration camp Buchenwald upon its liberation in 1945, had with a 7-year-old boy whom he discovered cowering behind a mound of […]

Read More

Jewish Memory Week: A Tale in Three Parts

Read full article  | 0 Comments

israel

Zachor, Deuteronomy 25:17-19
March 11, 2014

The memory of the Holocaust today is vulnerable. Between the Diaspora and Israel the Jewish people are fighting about the meaning of the Holocaust, encoding in our ideological debates about who we want to be in the world our increasingly polarizing interpretations about our recent past. It is the nature of trauma that we become […]

Read More

Situating God: Revisiting Vayikra

Read full article  | 0 Comments

On Scripture Behzad Dayanim

Leviticus 1:1-5-26
March 6, 2014

Opening the new biblical book Vayikra, Leviticus, likewise opens a new chapter in the lives of the Israelites. Their relationship with God would be expressed through the performance of set rituals in a physical structure. No doubt such changes also brought transformations in their spiritual lives and reoriented the way in which they approached the […]

Read More

Blending Torah and Activism

Read full article  | 0 Comments

index

Pekudey, Exodus 38:21-40-38
Rector, Rabbinical School; Irving Brudnick Professor of Philosophy and Religion
February 26, 2014

I am a scholar and teacher, having devoted much of my life to shaping a Judaism that will work both for me and for others in our contemporary world. I have one sibling, my sister Paula, who works in international peacebuilding, especially in Asia and Africa. Recently, I received an email she sent from Addis […]

Read More

Four Levels of Societal Transformation

Read full article  | 0 Comments

images

Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20
February 19, 2014

I recently had to report for jury duty. I had been summoned for jury service before, but this was the first time I did so in New York City. In the past I had found that, despite the hours away from my regular responsibilities, being an active part of the justice system was an inspirational […]

Read More

Leadership and Confrontation: Lessons From Moses and God

Read full article  | 0 Comments

gbNG1848501

Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11-34:35
February 11, 2014

It seems every few weeks a new round of headlines cover the latest eruption within the American Jewish community over Israel, the most recent including a panel-turned-spectacle at the 92nd Street Y and communal storms over policies delineating who should and shouldn’t be allowed to speak at Hillels and JCCs. While these moments of heat […]

Read More

“Thou Shalt Donate to Overhead Costs”: The Biblical Commandment of Keeping The Lights On

Read full article  | 0 Comments

sephgn2900

Tetzaveh, Exodus 27:20-30:10
February 4, 2014

This summer the usually sleepy world of nonprofit organization talk was rocked by a campaign to “Debunk the Overhead Myth.” With a growing body of research and years of experience behind them, a coalition of experts claimed that, counter to popular belief, “overhead is a poor measure of a charity’s performance.” While 62 percent of […]

Read More

Page 3 of 41234