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Clearing the Ashes

With two children and a baby on the way, there are numerous minor transgressions that occur in our home each and every day.

D'var Torah By: 
Finding Sweetness in our Memories
Davar Acher By: 
Mark Dov Shapiro

Rabbi Klein's commentary challenges us to make bitter human experiences into sweet ones. We clean up the ashes that mar our experience and forgive someone.

Smoke Signals: Sacrifices as a Ritual Vocabulary

Annie LaMott, who writes on Christian spirituality, says that the two best prayers she knows are "Help me, help me, help me" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you" (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoug

D'var Torah By: 
Impact and Intent: The Delicate Dance of Moral Evaluation
Davar Acher By: 
Michael L. Feshbach

Dr. Adler asks, "Are unintentional lapses that serious?" Inadvertent misconduct is a category understood by our ancestors.

An Offering of Thanksgiving

Both The Torah: A Modern Commentary1 and The Torah: A Women's Commentary2 offer the following midrash for this week's portion pertaining to the sacr

D'var Torah By: 
Giving Thanks, Gaining Holy Perspective
Davar Acher By: 
Eric Linder

The Hebrew word for Egypt, Mitzrayim is a combination of three Hebrew words, the translation of which is "from the narrow places." Our slavery is not relegated solely to the geographic lan

Unlikely Holiness: Pancakes, Trash, and the Priest's Big Toe

This week's portion continues the outline of the korbanot, "sacrifices," begun last week in Parashat Vayikra.

D'var Torah By: 
Ordination Day . . . Sacred Service Belongs to All Who Seek It
Davar Acher By: 
Mara S. Nathan

In many ways, Tzav's focus on the ritual offerings is all a preamble to the ordination rites for Aaron and his sons as priests and the dedication of the first sanctuary.

What Can We Learn from Taking Out the Garbage?

In reading Parashat Tzav just one week after reading Parashat Vayikra, one cannot help but notice how, on the surface, these two portions are nearly identical.

D'var Torah By: 
Priestly Fashion
Davar Acher By: 
Edward Paul Cohn

Even a cursory reading of Parashat Tzav draws one's attention to a question I have so often pondered: who laundered and dry-cleaned the priestly vestments? We read:

On Rationalism and Passion

As a graduate of the Israeli rabbinic program at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, I am happy I had the chance to study during my senior year of school at our Cincinnati, Ohio campus.

D'var Torah By: 
All Night until Morning
Davar Acher By: 
David Segal

Rabbi Marx wisely reclaims the power of ritual in her d’rash on Parashat Tzav.

Down Payment on a Debt of Gratitude

My dad died this past summer. It was a good death. He was ninety-five years old, couldn't see or hear very well, and had a heart condition.

D'var Torah By: 
Exploring the Miracles in Our Lives
Davar Acher By: 
Daniel A. Septimus

Rabbi Billy Dreskin provides a heartfelt tribute to his father and the many sacrifices of well-being that his father offered to him.

On the Holiness of Shmutz

A young man comes to a rabbi and says, "Rabbi, I would like to study Talmud with you."
"Very nice," says the rabbi. "May I ask what background you have in Talmud?"

D'var Torah By: 
Sometimes Shmutz is Just Shmutz
Davar Acher By: 
Jack P. Paskoff

The custodian of our congregation is somewhat eccentric.


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