IF We Build This World In Love

This week’s Torah portion, Tzav, ends with a ceremony consecrating the first Israelite priests, Aaron and his sons. The blood of a sacrificial ram is smeared on an ear, a hand, and a foot. With this, their bodies are sanctified and their sacred work begins. As paradigms have shifted, we don’t mark our own service as a Kingdom of Priests with animal blood. Still, the Talmud debates just how many paces we may walk from bed, upon awakening, before washing our hands, renewing their dedication to serve as God’s arms in the world.

Posted on March 24, 2016

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Standing Up For Our Principles, Not Demagoguery

Last week I had a nasty bout of stomach flu. One of those batten down the hatches, no food for two days, self-quarantined episodes that wiped me out for a solid two days. But as queasy as I felt for those few days, it was nothing compared with how sickened and nauseous I felt last night (March 21, 2016) watching Donald J. Trump be received with applause and fervor at AIPAC.

Posted on March 22, 2016

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How Subversive Will You Be This Purim?

Purim is, without question, one of the most outrageous, over-the-top and, some might say, offensive holidays in the Jewish tradition. Not the toned down, child-centric, carnival game-filled, “and-they-all-lived-happily-ever-after” version of the story that most of us hear or remember. The version of the story where the Jews attack and kill hundreds of Persians by taking up arms at the end of the story. The version where not only Haman is hanged but where all 10 of his sons are murdered on the gallows too.

Posted on March 16, 2016

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