Parsha Behar-Bechukotai – Freedom and Slavery

slavery

Another good example of why Judaism needs to continue to evolve is this week’s parsha.  Slavery is not condemned, but limited, particularly for Jewish slaves.  As modern Jews we know that slavery should never be allowed, but this is more of a modern moral concept than an ancient one.  No one should be allowed to […]

Parsha Emor – Eye for Eye Justice

Scales_of_justice_ezr

In this week’s parsha of Emor in Leviticus 24:19-20 we read that, “A man who inflicts injury upon his fellow man just as he did, so shall be done to him, fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.”  Most Jewish sages rejected the literal translation of this idea of justice and instead recommended […]

Parsha Acharei-Kedoshim – Love the Convert

man

In this week’s parsha we learn of the Torah’s high regard for “strangers” or “ger.”  Most often, these terms are referred to as meaning a Jewish convert who is living with the Israelite tribe.  The particular verse is Leviticus 19:34, “The strangers who reside with you as your citizens;  you shall love each one as […]

Parsha Tazria-Metzora – Leprosy and Being Unclean

From reading this week’s parshas we learn about the disease of leprosy and being unclean.  The ancient disease of leprosy is always somewhat scary – even for today’s Jews.  The idea of getting this disease and the physical disfiguring that it can cause is something that all of us would rather stay away from.  We […]

Parsha Shemini – A Kosher Life

kosher cup raspberries

In this week’s parsha we learn about the kosher laws or kashrut.  Keeping kosher is a way of making the everyday actions of eating into a holy act.  Actually, it is quite easy to be kosher.  For example, I have never eaten a chameleon, mole, ostrich or flying insect that has four legs.  All of […]