Jewish Texts


Exodus 13:17-17:16

Weaving Together Ritual and Ethics

Only through the combination of ritual and ethics can Judaism fully express itself.

Parashat Achrei Mot: Summary

God instructs Moses regarding the procedures for the Day of Atonement; sexual prohibitions are then listed.

The Nature Of Holiness

The commandment to be holy raises questions about our responsibilities towards community and our relationships with God.

The Limits Of Spirituality

Nadav and Avihu died in an act of sanctification; our goal should be to sanctify God through our lives, not our deaths.

A New Look At Philanthropy

The commandment to leave behind some of the harvest for the poor challenges our assumptions about to whom the food belongs in the first place.

Sensitivity To Speech

Rabbinic interpreters regarded leprosy as punishment for the sin of careless speech.

Parental Sacrifice

The burnt offering and the sin offering that a woman brings after childbirth symbolize the dual nature of parenting.

Recipe For Purity

An internal process of repentance must accompany the external, physical cleansing for leprosy.

Better Than God?

The ritual of circumcision allows us to partner with God in the covenant and also in perfecting creation.

Cycles Of Life, Death, And Purification

The cycle of life and death represented by leprosy encourages us to bring acts of purity into our lives even when we have become impure.

The Cursed House

The image of a house afflicted with a plague encourages us to examine what real and metaphorical plagues afflict our own homes and societies.