Sidrahs

Tazria

By Rabbi Josh Levy, March 27, 2014

When we speak about circumcision in Judaism, we almost always link it to Genesis 17, in which milah is a central feature of the covenant made between Abraham and God. The Hebrew word for covenant, brit, has become almost synonymous with this ritual act.

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Shemini

By Rabbi Barry Lerer, March 21, 2014

These verses teach the fundamentals of kashrut, explaining the signs for a kosher animal as one which has split hooves and chews the cud. If an animal possesses only one of these two signs, it is not kosher. What are the significance of these signs and what lessons can we learn?

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Tzav

By Dr Annette Boeckler, March 13, 2014

Parashat Tzav deals with the laws for sacrifices, as if this were the core of our religion. But there is a time for sacrifices and a time for not to offer them, as the haftarah for Shabbat Zachor shows.

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Vayikra

By Rabbi Daniel Rowe, March 7, 2014

The contemporary mind often struggles with animal offerings that form a central part of Torah. Yet for the Ramban, they contain a critical secret and lesson relevant for all time.

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Pekudei

By Lindsay Simmonds, February 27, 2014

“And with him was Oholiab… a craftsman and a skilful workman and a weaver in colours” Exodus: 38:23

Having for the first time in 20 years renovated our home, I know the pleasure of, and frustration with, details. It is inevitable perhaps that some details become burdensome and others a joy. The process of creating a harmonious home is the substance of this week’s parashah.

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Vayakhel

By Rabbi Josh Levy, February 21, 2014

Apart from his lineage, and the skills with which he was endowed by God, we know remarkably little about Bezalel, the builder of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Why he was selected, or how, what was special about him, these questions are unanswered by the biblical text.

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Ki Tissa

By Rabbi Barry Lerer, February 14, 2014

We often talk about someone being shomer Shabbat, meaning that they scrupulously observe all of the many laws pertaining to Shabbat. However, a closer understanding of this verse might reveal a different approach to what shomer Shabbat really means.

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Tetzaveh

By Dr Annette Boeckler, February 6, 2014

Haftarot chosen from the book of Ezekiel are not particularly rare but always strange.

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Terumah

By Rabbi Daniel Rowe, January 31, 2014

Perhaps the greatest conundrum of sidrah Terumah is the seeming incongruity of sliding from sublime revelation to a collection of construction materials. Israel emerged from Egypt, met God at Sinai and committed itself to the Covenant. Mishpatim ends with Moses re-entering the fiery realm where God’s Presence could be grasped. 

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Mishpatim

By Lindsay Simmonds, January 24, 2014

Possibly the most famous two words in the Torah, Na’aseh v’nishma (“We will we do, and we will listen”) have always evoked much commentary. But what can it mean to do God’s will before acquiring a thorough understanding of what God demands?

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