Our guest this week, Rabbi Ted Falcon, was ordained in 1968 at the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. After his ordination, Rabbi Falcon served in Los Angeles as a congregational rabbi and then as a campus rabbi. In 1975 he earned a doctorate in Professional Psychology, and in 1978 he founded the first meditative Reform congregation. He moved to Seattle in 1993, where he also founded a meditative synagogue. He is the author of A Journey of Awakening: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tree of Life and co-author, with David Blatner, of Judaism For Dummies. He was the Scholar-in-Residence at Unity of Bellevue in 2010 and 2011, and has a private spiritual counselling practice. Since 9/11, Rabbi Flacon has also been lecturing and writing, together with Imam Jamal Rahman and Pastor Don Mackenzie, as part of the Interfaith Amigos, an interfaith dialogue project.
This week's Torah Portion – Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23) – begins with a set of purity regulations for priests. It then continues to list the main high holidays and to tell the story of a blasphemer who is stoned to death by the community. Our discussion focuses, among other things, on the idea of experiencing holiness and spirituality beyond the realm of religious ritual and on the mystical significance of the counting of the Omer.
If you would like to learn some more about Parashat Emor, check out our discussion with Rabba Sara Hurwitz.