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Better Than God?

A cutting debate has been raging both within the Jewish world and outside it concerning the issue of b'rit milah, ritual circumcision, which is presented in the opening

D'var Torah By: 
Eight-Day Equality
Davar Acher By: 
Mark Kaiserman

The old joke goes: When does life begin? For the Catholic, at conception. For the Protestant, at birth. For the Jew, when the kids leave for college.

A Disease that Walls Get? Decoding Tzaraat and Facing Our Fears

It's time for all Leviticus fans to haul out their decoder rings! In Leviticus 13 and 14, we encounter a strange disease called tzaraat, which can be contracted by human beings, walls, stones, or cloth. Tzaraat has been translated variously as "'scale disease,' 'scaly disease,' 'eruption,' and (erroneously) 'leprosy' " (The Women's Torah Commentary, ed. Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Andrea L. Weiss [New York: URJ Press, 2008] p. 659). 

D'var Torah By: 
Judaism Is Also Rabbinic
Davar Acher By: 
Benjamin Levy

Judaism is not only biblical, but is also rabbinic.

Again and Again

Imagine, if you will, that today is not today, and you are not who you thought you were when you woke up this morning. Imagine that today is really some years prior to today, and you are here to meet with the rabbi in preparation for becoming bar or bat mitzvah. 

D'var Torah By: 
Affirming Tazria/M'tzora
Davar Acher By: 
Susan Bulba Carvutto

My hands are peeling from frequent washing.

The Mystery of Birth and Rebirth

This week's portion Tazria falls in sync with the fourth of our five pre-Purim through pre-Passover special Shabbatot, when we include special readings for Torah and haftarah.This week on Shabbat HaChodesh, the haftarah from Ezekiel prepares us for the important new month, the month when we celebrate our Exodus from Egypt.

D'var Torah By: 
A Community of Priests
Davar Acher By: 
Josh Brown

Rabbi Kelman rightly points out the ease by which we can adopt modern medicine to "combat the impurities of the past." We must also be aware that our modern sensibilities can blind us from ad

Broken Pieces of God's World

Matan Koch is an old friend of mine who, nine years ago, was (what we used to refer to as) a "wheelchair-bound" law student at Harvard University.

D'var Torah By: 
Putting Our Houses in Order
Davar Acher By: 
Sigma Faye Coran

"How fair are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel!" (Numbers 24:5). How do we protect our homes and keep them fair and good?

Annoying “Un-Understanding”

What a difficult portion Tazria is! It looks at issues of purity; birth; and illness of men and women, fabric and skin.

D'var Torah By: 
Ritual Moments: Opportunities to Savor Transition
Davar Acher By: 
Greg Litcofsky

In his d'var Torah, Robert Tornberg focuses our attention on the verses regarding childbirth and the laws surrounding a mother's subsequent impurity.

A Women's Sacrifice: A Women’s Tractate

The notion of "marginality" usually brings to mind thoughts of exclusion and disavowal. Marginality may, however, embody exciting possibilities and unexpected opportunities.

D'var Torah By: 
The Biblical Women of the Wall
Davar Acher By: 
Marla R. Hornsten

I am inspired by this notion that "what was good for women was thought of as being good for the Temple." What an incredible assertion, for we might expect it to be the other way around!


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