Tazria - Metzora

Posted on April 16th, 2018

Leviticus 12:1-15:33 

Velveteen Rabbi

 

Becoming Real: Tazria-Metzorah and Being Velveteen


Once there was a stuffed rabbit who yearned to be Real. His Boy loved him so dearly that he became Real in the eyes of the Boy -- but when living bunnies caught sight of him, they laughed, because they knew he was only a toy, unable to run and play with the real rabbits.

Some of you are smiling. You recognize this story, by Margery Williams. Let me continue.

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Shemini II

Posted on April 9th, 2018

Leviticus 10:12–11:47

 

The Velveteen Rabbi


Holiness, wildlife, keeping awake (Radical Torah repost)


I have a sister-in-law who teaches biology at a prep school. She has played host to a bizarre variety of creatures. Once, I’m pretty sure, she had a tarantula in a terrarium. For a while she kept snakes. And these days, her lab is home to some kind of spiny lizard, who puffs himself up every time anyone who might demand attention enters the room.

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Shemini 1

Posted on April 2nd, 2018

Leviticus 9:1-11:47


 

By Rabbi Steven Nathan for Reconstructing Judaism


Instead of a traditional d'var Torah on Parashat Shemini, I chose to write an original midrash about Nadav and Avihu. These two sons of Aaron the High Priest, after seeing Divine fire come down from heaven and devour the first sacrifice made in the newly-dedicated Mishkan (Sanctuary), decide to take matters into their own hands. They bring a “strange fire” before God, that God had not commanded them, and their punishment was to then be devoured by Divine fire. The rabbis have commented on this episode for centuries, questioning whether Nadav and Avihu were simply brash and arrogant upstarts, or if perhaps there was another reason.

I like to think of Nadav and Avihu as the first Reconstructionists. Unfortunately, they were a little ahead of their time and so they suffered the consequences. Once you read my midrash you'll understand why I say this.

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Pesach 1 - On Shabbat

Posted on March 26th, 2018

 

On the FIRST DAY OF PASSOVER we read from the book of Exodus (12:21-51)  & Numbers (28:16 - 28:25) of the bringing of the Passover Offering in Egypt, the Plague of the Firstborn at the stroke of midnight, and how "On this very day, G‑d took the Children of Israel out of Egypt."

 

Chag Sameach!/Happy Holiday!

 

Want more information on Passover? Check out Jvillage Network's Passover Guide.

Shabbat HaChodesh - Vayikra

Posted on March 12th, 2018

Leviticus 1:1−5:26 


By Ellen Danin for Reconstructing Judaism


Drawing Close to Sacrifice


When Adar comes in, our happiness is increased. But when Vayikra comes in, we feel as if the Promised Land of great stories and heroes is far, far away.

Torah scholars through the centuries have tried to give us reasons to rejoice in these endless passages on the most minute and bloody details of sacrifices, but it is hard to say they have succeeded. Some point out that we are moving from a physical to a spiritual journey. After all, the book begins with the words “And God called.” Called - not just spoke.

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Celebrate Shavuot

Celebrate Shavuot

Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven-week counting period, the Omer, between Passover and Shavuot. One of the three pilgrimage holidays mentioned in the Torah, it celebrates both the harvest of the first fruits and the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai over 3,000 years ago.

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