Tag Archives: Torah

Seventy Faces of Torah Jonathan Wittenberg

Violence and Vision

Passover: seventh day, Exodus 13:17-15:26; eighth day, Deuteronomy 15:10-16:17 The ancient rabbis chose Isaiah’s vision of peace on earth as the prophetic reading to accompany the Torah reading for the 8th day of Passover, the Festival of Freedom. The wolf will dwell with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the kid, calf and young lion and fatling together, and a little child shall lead them…(Isaiah 11:6) “Indeed!” observed one of my teachers… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Arthur Green

Liberation: A Sacred Moment

(Passover; Readings for First Days–Exodus 12:21-51 and Leviticus 22:26-23:44) On the second day of Passover, Jews begin a period called sefirat ha-omer, when we publicly count off each day for the next fifty, concluding with the holiday of Shavuot. (Hence the Greek term Pentecost, for the fiftieth day.) While originally a practice used for calculating the agricultural season, the rabbinic tradition used it to establish a deep connection between these… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Michael-Rosenberg

The Mitzvah Of Getting Dirty

Parshat Metzora, Leviticus 14:1-15:3 I am an unabashed lover of Leviticus. And not just the “Be holy,” “Love your neighbor as yourself” second half of Leviticus, but especially the “slaughter the cow…sprinkle its blood” first half. “Be holy” sounds great, but what does it actually mean? What am I supposed to do to fulfill this vague entreaty? But the first half of Leviticus, which deals with how to perform sacrifices… Read Article →

Community Blog Daniel-Klein

Singing in the Dark: Leviticus and the Call for Social Justice

“There’s a part of the singer going way back in American history that is of course the canary in the coalmine. When it gets dark, you’re supposed to be singing. It’s dark right now.” Bruce Springsteen made this statement in 2007, but it is no less relevant today. Current events have brought to the fore and emphasized a dramatic sense of uncertainty, frustration and longing that exists in our society…. Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah sharon-weiss-greenberg

Paid Maternity Leave: Are We “Ready”?

Parshat Tazria, Leviticus 12:1-15:33 6,420 Jewish educators from day schools, campuses, summer camps, synagogues, and other areas of Jewish life…When asked one question—the names of day schools with paid maternity leave—only 11 US schools could be named. While the US is debating how to make America great again, one place to start might be by implementing any semblance of the maternity leave policies that the Canadian, Israeli, and European educators… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah shoshana-friedman

Strange Fire of the Heart

Parashat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47 When I was in seventh grade, I had my first role in a play. It was Cinderella in Into The Woods, a dream part—one that ultimately marked the peak of my theater career. I loved going to rehearsals after school, going to the costume warehouse and trying on the rags and gown, singing with the little orchestra. But nothing prepared me for the sense of magic… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi-Sabath100x100

Leadership, Precision, and the Power of Ritual

Parashat Tzav: Leviticus 6:1-8:36 For many of us, the complex details of animal sacrifices in the ancient Temple seem far away from anything that we might consider meaningful, much less comprehensible. What relevance is there in the order of burning and eating ancient sacrifices in a Temple that was destroyed two thousand years ago? Large portions of the book of Leviticus force us to ask why we’re still reading and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Michael Shire

Offerings, Then and Now

Parashat Vayikra, Leviticus 1:1-5:26 The language of “sacrifice” suggests an act of self-deprivation. We give up something of value for the sake of something greater; we may sacrifice a holiday to save some money, or our free time to work for a worthy cause. We regret that we have to make these sacrifices, though we see the need for them; if we could attain what we want without the sacrifice,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

With Water, String, and Laughter: Finding the Divine

Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21 – 40:38 This month, the Torah has led us on a comprehensive tour of the folk art museum of ancient Israelite desert wandering, a full accounting of the physical culture of our portable sacred space in the wilderness. The prophetic readings paired with the weekly Torah readings amplify the descriptions of the richly textured but makeshift place for the Divine among us, the mishkan or Tabernacle,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Deborah Skolnik Einhorn

A Campaign That Includes Us All

Parshat Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20 This week’s Torah portion, Vayekhel, contains one of the most colorful depictions of community-building in the Torah. Rephrased and repeated throughout the parasha is the following message: “Everyone whose heart so moves them shall bring gifts for the Lord; gold, silver, and copper; blue, purple and crimson yarns . . .” (Exodus 35:5-6). While some find a bit dull this detailed and repeated description of the… Read Article →