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

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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 […]

Passover – A Celebration of Life and Freedom

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As Jews, we suspend Torah reading for the eight days of Passover to reflect on our freedom and the story of Exodus.  Modern Jews, of course, have never been slaves nor do we have any real understanding of how horrific it would be.  We also know that our people’s narrative of Exodus is something that […]

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 […]