Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5781-2021

Shaatnez: Understanding ‘Irrational’ Decrees”
(updated and revised from Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5762-2002)

The laws of Shaatnezrecorded in parashat Kedoshim, of not wearing wool and linen together, fall under the category of laws that are known as chukim--decrees which are commands from G-d that have no apparent rational reason. The esoteric laws of Shaatnezthat appear so out of place with contemporary times, have much to teach us about developing sensitivity toward others, and that the great gift of having clothes to wear must never be taken for granted.

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5780-2020

"Who is Truly Religious?”
(Updated and revised from Parashiot Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001)

Traditional “religious” Jews are often identified as those who scrupulously observe the “Big Three:” Shabbat, Kashrut and the laws of Family Purity. From parashiot Acharei Mot and Kedoshim we learn that this definition needs to be updated to include an ethical component–that one must be certain to behave and act honestly and morally, within all realms of life.

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5780-2020

“Judaism Sanctifies Time, Not Space”
(Updated and revised from Vayakhel-Pekudei 5761-2001)

Unexpectedly, in the midst of the Torah’s plans for the construction of the Tabernacle, the Torah in parashat Vayakhel exhorts the Jewish people to observe the Sabbath. While the Tabernacle and the Temple were sacred spaces, far more important is the sanctity of time. Lost land, earth or space, can often be recovered. But time that passes, can never be recovered. Time is truly sacred.

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Emor 5779-2019

“The Gift of Celebration”
Revised and updated from Emor 5761-2001)

Parashat Emor features the celebration of Shabbat and the Jewish holidays--the festivals of G-d and the holy convocations that the people observe at their appropriate times. Proper celebrations are necessary for healthy living. It is important for the community to salute all the seasons of the year, and acknowledge that Shabbat and the Jewish holidays are truly remarkable gifts from the Al-mighty.

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