Purim is every child’s dream holiday; the story is like a fairy tale. Little girls dress up like Esther; little boys like Mordechai. In synagogues around the world we chant the story from the Scroll of Esther and boo every time the evil Haman’s name appears. It is a wonderful...
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March 1, 2012 | 2:59 pm
August 17, 2011 | 10:33 am
July 9, 2008 | 10:38 pmThe Torah records that the human being was the final item created by God. But the Mishna (Avot 5:8) proposes that a variety of mysterious things were actually created just a little bit later.
As the sixth day was ending, but not quite over, and as Shabbat was arriving, but had not...
February 24, 2005 | 7:00 pm
The Fire of Money
In Parshat Ki Tisa, each Israelite is instructed to give a half-shekel to the "temple fund" every year. There is a midrash – a story told by rabbis to teach a lesson – about this portion. Rabbis say that God took a fiery coin from under His heavenly throne,...
January 27, 2005 | 7:00 pm
This week's portion is named for Moses' father-in-law, Yitro. Moses is exhausted because he spends the whole day talking to anyone who needs counseling or judgment. Yitro, who is visiting him, says: "You'll kill yourself if you keep up at this pace. Get some people to help...
June 12, 2003 | 8:00 pm
Last week, I watched as Adam, a preschooler at Temple Akiba in Culver City, handed a beanbag to Melissa. She was crying because she didn't have one. He had two. In Parshat Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89), we are told that we must give one-tenth of our yearly income to the Levites. Can you...
January 17, 2002 | 7:00 pm
In last week's parsha, the Israelites sat back and watched as God brought seven plagues upon the Egyptians. This week, we read of the final three plagues. All of a sudden, the Israelites are told that they must help God in the last plague. How? They must smear the blood of a lamb on...