In Parashat Tzav, we read, in minute detail, of the priests’ tasks to keep the flame on the altar burning day and night. That fire was central to the spiritual life of the community.
Through their burnt offerings the Israelites drew near to God at times of transition or vulnerability. To do so, they depended on the priests to keep the altar clean and the fire burning.
In the world of Leviticus, God’s presence resided with the community, at the center of its camp, in the Ohel Mo’ed – the tent of meeting, a...Read More
Equal Pay Day is not a holiday to celebrate, but rather a day to bring attention to the ongoing injustice of pay discrimination in the United States. March 31 marks how far into the new year women must work to receive in wages what their male counterparts earned in the previous calendar year.
Women must work 15 months to earn the same amount a man earns in 12 months in the United States, because women are paid just 82 cents for...Read More
The past few days, Facebook has started showing me a variety of Passover memories. At the same time, here in the present, my inbox is flooded with new, innovative ways to celebrate Passover in the time of a pandemic, and friends are reaching out to ask if I have resources to share.
In preparation for my own Passover celebration, I’ve been scrounging around to try to find a few pounds of flat-cut brisket to make Gramma Margie’s Famous Brisket… for two. It’s a change, given that, in years past, I’ve made upwards of 25 pounds of brisket...Read More
As we gather around our seder tables this year, we will reflect on our people’s liberation from the degradation of slavery in Egypt.
We recall with gratitude that many of our more immediate ancestors – or we ourselves – were offered refuge from persecution by the United States and Canada, while knowing that some in our community have also experienced the pain of discrimination in North America.
If we are to heed the call of freedom that...Read More
The Torah recounts that during their journey in the wilderness, the Israelites were guided by a pillar (of cloud by day and of fire by night) that represented God’s presence in their midst. When the pillar moved, they moved, and when the pillar stopped, they stopped.
It occurs to me that for a good portion of their 40-year journey, that pillar must have been stopped, guiding our ancestors to stay in place. In those moments, the purpose of the journey was not in physical walking, but in active waiting.
These times...Read More