Does Law Equal Justice?

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
5779
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on May 15, 2019
Our parashah this week ends in an odd way, a way that it is odd both for the book of Leviticus, and for Torah more generally. Leviticus is largely a book of laws – laws related to the Tabernacle and the priesthood (hence the English name of the book that invokes the tribe of Levi), laws of incest and sexual prohibitions, laws of ritual impurity, and so on. It contains very few narratives, yet it presents one here. Read more...

We Will Outlive Them

Headshot of Rabbi Adam Greenwald
by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on May 1, 2019
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
In 1939, a group of Hasidic Jews in Lublin, Poland were lined up against a barbed wire fence by SS soldiers. The sadistic commandant then ordered them to sing themselves to their own deaths. One of the men began to improvise a tune: “Mir veln zey iberlebn, iberlebn, iberlebn” – “We will outlive them” he sang over and over. Witness reports say that the song spread quickly through the group, who died dancing and singing those words. Read more...

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...