Sidrahs

Emor

By Rabbi Josh Levy, May 2, 2014

The Torah is quite explicit. For 36 offences, the prescribed punishment is death. Yet while the Torah demanded it, the rabbinic exercise all but removed the death penalty from Jewish law. 

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Kedoshim

By Rabbi Barry Lerer, April 24, 2014

The Midrash tells us that when the children of Israel arrived in the Land of Israel, it was already filled with trees. Nevertheless, God commanded them to plant new trees. They were obligated to provide for others in the same way that others had provided for them. Perhaps that generation would not enjoy the fruits of their labour but the next generation would.

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Shabbat Chol Hamo'ed Pesach

By Dr Annette Boeckler, April 17, 2014

The Amidah connects us daily with the memory of our patriarchs and matriarchs in its first passage; the second passage, Mechayeh hametim, however, could be seen as linking us daily with Pesach. “You are eternally mighty, God. You give life to the dead and have great power to save”, according to the traditional text.

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Acharei Mot

By Rabbi Daniel Rowe, April 11, 2014

Acharei Mot, literally “after the deaths”, introduces the laws of Yom Kippur against the backdrop of the deaths of the son’s of Aaron. What is the connection between the two?

The climax of the inaugural week of the Tabernacle, the eighth day, forms the core of Torah. Almost a third of Torah took place on that single day.

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Metzora

By Lindsay Simmonds, April 3, 2014

In the 21st century, it might seem absurd to imagine that there exists in the world the notion of tumah and taharah, ritual impurity and purity. It is a often dismissed with the scientist’s casual rolling of the eyes or worse, as evidence of the stupidity of a folk-like mythology clothed in religious doctrine.

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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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