Parsha Tzav – Is Anyone Born Better?

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This week’s parsha of Tzav describes the Jewish priestly class of kohanim.  Being a kohanim was passed down by the father, not the mother, patrilineally not matrilineally.  Other human cultures had royal families where power was passed down to successive generations simply by accident of birth.  Even today, we have the leader of North Korea […]

Parsha Vayikra – Sacrifices and PETA

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Although People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is often over-the-top (they compared chickens to the Holocaust), most Jews are in favor of the ethical treatment of animals.  In this week’s parsha of Vayikra, much of the parsha is about animal sacrifices in the Temple.  How do we as Jews reconcile animal sacrifices with […]

Parsha Vayakhel – What Day Is Shabbat?

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In today’s world we tend to live a 24/7 week where the days often seem to run together.  The Monday through Friday workweek is not one that all of us have.  Yet, as Jews, we are told in this week’s parsha of Vayakhel that we must not work on Shabbat (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown) […]

Parsha Ki Tisa – What Is Our Idol?

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This week’s parsha of Ki Tisa is probably most known for the “Golden Calf”, the idol that the Israelites decided to worship when Moses did not show up when they expected him.  We may think it is ridiculous that the Israelites of that day thought an idol should be made out of gold, but how […]

Parsha Tetzaveh – Back to the Past?

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This week’s parsha of Tetzaveh is about temples, sacrifices and priests – oh my! Seriously, we who live in the 21st Century have a hard time understanding the reasons for all of this.  Regarding kohanim, it goes against our modernity and and sense of egalitarianism that people should be given power for reasons of heredity. […]