The Hand That Does Not Reach

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on April 3, 2019
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Maftir Reading
We like to think of childbirth as miraculous and joyful (which we certainly hope it will be), but it is also a bloody, painful, and sometimes dangerous process. Even today, after the advent of modern medicine, women continue to face perilous complications and even the risk of death during pregnancy and labor. It is thus not surprising, at least to me, that in the biblical world – as we see in Chap. 12 of Leviticus, the opening of this week’s parashah, Tazriah – that giving birth was a source Read more...

Wine, Wisdom, and Wonder

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
5779
by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on March 28, 2019
Judaism is a religion of faith. It is also a religion of behavior – and not just in contemporary times, but in ancient days and everlasting. In this week’s Torah portion, Shemini, the Torah says: “And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: Drink no wine or other intoxicants, you or your sons, when you enter the Tent of Meeting, that you may not die. This is a law for all time throughout the ages, for you must distinguish between the sacred and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, and you must teach the Israelites all the laws which the Read more...

Commanded and Connected

Headshot of Rabbi Adam Greenwald
5779
by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on March 20, 2019
“And God spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Command your brother and his sons regarding the Torah of the offerings.” (Leviticus 6:1-2) Mitzvah is one of the foundational words of Jewish life. Its root comes from the verb which is the name of this week’s parasha: Tzav, “command.” Despite its colloquial usage as “good deed,” mitzvah really means “commandment”—a holy edict, meant to give shape and substance to what it means to live as a member of the Jewish covenant.  Read more...