Jewish Texts

Reaching Out To The Isolated

Just as the priest went out from the community to welcome back those afflicted with leprosy, we too should reach out to those who feel excluded.

Is It Blasphemous To Heal People?

Even if we view leprosy as a punishment, we must work to heal the afflicted, allowing our sense of compassion to override justice or logic.

Parashat Tazria: Summary

God instructs Moses about the purification rituals for mothers following childbirth; God then describes to Moses and Aaron the procedures for identifying and responding to those infected with leprosy.

Clean Up Your Act

Living together as a community means learning to communicate effectively and respectfully.

Parashat Shmini: Summary

After the dedication of the Tabernacle and the ordination of the priests, two of Aaron's sons bring a strange fire before God and are consumed by fire; God then instructs Moses and Aaron regarding which animals may be eaten.

God’s Withdrawal

Isaac Luria's theory of creation.

The Gerona Circle of Kabbalah

Influential kabbalists like Rabbi Azriel and Jacob ben Sheshet were, at times, criticized for their work.

Merkavah Mysticism in Rabbinic Literature

In the Talmud and midrash, visions of the Divine Throne are achieved by studying the Torah.

Parashat Tzav: Summary

God tells Moses to describe the rituals for some of the offerings to the priests; the priests then undergo the process of ordination.

Sacrifices And Passover

The juxtaposition of Vayikra with preparations for Passover shows the parallels between cleaning our homes and souls and offering atonement and thanksgiving.

Parashat Vayikra: Summary

God commands Moses regarding various types of offerings: under what circumstances they should be offered and what they should consist of.

Berakhot 2a: What’s on the Opening Page of the Talmud

The Talmud treats the law as a given; its agenda is to see how the different understandings of that law relate to each other.