Sukkot 2020

Last night, the Jewish community began Shabbat (Sabbath) by also celebrating the beginning of the week-long festival of Sukkot, which is commanded in the book of Leviticus 23:42-43- “You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite … Continue reading Sukkot 2020

A response to Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron

I have lived in Louisville, Kentucky... for over ten years... working on countless projects with the mayor's office and the Louisville Metro Police Department and even the FBI, to try to bring healing, justice and peace to this city. It is therefore with profound sadness, horror, rage and disgust that I watch what is unfolding … Continue reading A response to Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron

Emor

Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23; Ezekiel 44:15-31) which starts with the following words: “The Lord spoke to Moses: Speak to the Children of Aaron, and say to them…” Later rabbinic commentary (in the Talmud) quotes this verse, but instead of saying “emor … Continue reading Emor

Tzav

This Shabbat, Jews around the world will observe the Shabbat HaGadol (the Great Sabbath) that precedes Passover, by reflecting upon the themes in the Torah Portion Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36; Jeremiah 7:21-28; 9:22-23) which describes how Aaron and his sons had to spend seven days inside the Sanctuary, in order to be initiated into the priesthood. … Continue reading Tzav

Vayikra

Tonight, as we begin Shabbat (the Sabbath), Jewish communities around the world will reflect upon the themes of Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26; Isaiah 43:21-44:23) which begins with the Holy One calling out to Moses and instructing him to enter the newly built Sanctuary. This biblical section is immediately preceded by last week's biblical passage from the … Continue reading Vayikra

Shoftim

Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9; Isaiah 51:12-52:12) which contains the following exhortations: “There shall not be found among you… a soothsayer, a diviner of times, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or a charmer... You shall be whole-hearted with your Lord” … Continue reading Shoftim

Va’etchanan

Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat by reflecting upon the themes of Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11; Isaiah 40:1-26) which contains the central affirmation of faith of the Jewish people, known as the “Shma”: “Shma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad”, and which means, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G!d*, the Lord is One”, which … Continue reading Va’etchanan

Eikev

Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25; Isaiah 49:14-51:3) which contains the final words of wisdom from Moses to the Children of Israel, including: “Perhaps you will say in your heart: these nations are greater than I (…) do not fear them, but remember … Continue reading Eikev

Re’eh

Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) and Rosh Chodesh (the new Hebrew month of Elul) by reflecting upon the themes of Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17; Isaiah 66:1-24) which begins with the words: “See (re’eh), I am giving before you all today blessing and curse”. Traditional rabbinic commentary understands that the word “re’eh” to … Continue reading Re’eh