Naso 5779-2019

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic"
(Revised and updated from Naso 5760-2000)

A Nazirite is not permitted to drink wine or eat anything of grape origin. He is not permitted to cut his hair, and is not permitted to come in contact with the dead. While it seems as if Judaism is encouraging asceticism, it does not. Judaism is a religion that promotes a sense of “balance” based on the Torah’s structure and Divine wisdom. That balance is what is reflected in the Torah’s lessons derived from the laws of the Nazir.

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Vayikra 5776 -2016

“The Gifts of the Kohanim-the Priests”

One of the important lessons of animal sacrifices is that even “fundraising” expenses are holy and serve an important purpose.

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Vayikra 5775-2015

“The Primacy of Independent Thinking”

From the example of the sin offering brought by the leaders of Israel who issue a mistaken ruling, we learn of the primacy of independent thinking in Jewish life.

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Vayikra 5770-2010

"Do Leaders Corrupt, or are They Corrupted?"

The first sin offering that is recorded in parashat Vayikra is the offering of the anointed priest. Regarding this sacrifice, an unresolved dispute comes to the surface, raising the issue of whether it is the leaders who lead the people astray or whether leaders are corrupted by their followers.

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Pinchas 5763-2003

"Can a Perfect G-d Sin?"

In the long list of sacrifices that appears in parashat Pinchas, we learn of the sin offering that is brought on Rosh Chodesh, the new moon sacrifice. In Numbers 28:15, the Torah instructs the priest to bring one he-goat "for a sin offering unto the Lord." However, the Hebrew "l'cha'taht la'Hashem" really means "a sin offering for G-d." The Talmud in Chullin 60b suggests that each month a sin offering is brought for G-d as an atonement for G-d's "sin" of reducing the size of the moon. There is much to learn from G-d's "sin offering."

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Naso 5760-2000

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalistic or Ascetic?"

The Nazirite is not permitted to drink wine or imbibe anything of grape origin. He is not permitted to cut his hair, and is not permitted to come in contact with the dead. It seems as if Judaism is encouraging asceticism. But this is not so. Judaism is a religion that promotes "balance" based on Divine structure and Divine wisdom. That balance is what is reflected in the Torah's lessons from the Nazir.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes