This year, I have the pleasure of studying the Book of Exodus together with the lay-led Hebrew Bible study group at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I serve as senior rabbi.
The story of the Golden Calf has so seared itself into our consciousness that it has become one of the prime acts of apostasy in the Jewish story.
Every Yom Kippur afternoon, congregations all over the world read the Book of Jonah, as set out for us in the Babylonian Talmud, M'gillah 31a. Most people believe that this haftarah is chosen because it models complete repentance.
Decades ago, Rabbi Jack Reimer explained Yom Kippur for me this way. It's not saying: I'm sorry I was bad and I won't do it again. That's only a Sunday school, superficial expression of something much deeper and spiritually far more important.
Learn about the the portion that describes the ancient observance of Yom Kippur in this fun tween-friendly discussion guide.
The end of this week's parashah includes some short, but memorable pieces of legislation: the explanation for why we tithe a little dough when making challah (Numbers 15:20-21); the killing of the man who gathered wood on Shabbat (Numbers 15:32-36); and the instructions to wear tzitzit w
The Jewish people's turbulent saga of disillusionment with liberation takes a new and momentarily promising turn this Shabbat, with a foray into the land of Canaan by twelve scouts.
The opening line of this portion, "The Eternal One spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they drew too close to the presence of the Eternal" (Leviticus 16:1), reminds us that the holy is not only attractive, but also dangerous.
Why does the Torah mention the deaths of Nadab and Abihu here in Acharei Mot, when the story of their deaths was told in its entirety in Parashat Sh'mini? What is it that the Torah is trying to teach us through this repetition?