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Jewish Journal

  • Counting Omer, Counting Reasons

    By Rav Yosef Kanefsky

    April 30, 2014 | 10:16 am

    Today, May 2, is the 17th day of the Omer. Following the practice set forth in this week’s parasha, we have been counting the day of the Omer since the second day of Passover, and will continue to do so until we reach the 49th day of the Omer, when we will celebrate the festival of...

  • Not everyone, not yet

    By Rabbi Lisa Edwards

    April 23, 2014 | 10:41 am

    "Times have certainly changed,” someone said to me the other day. “We have a new generation of children growing up just with marriage — not gay marriage and straight marriage, but ‘just marriage.’ ”

    Nice pun, I thought, “just marriage.” The oft-quoted Torah verse, “justice,...

  • Believing is Seeing (Exodus 33:12-34:26)

    by Rabbi Mike Comins

    April 16, 2014 | 2:57 pm

    The reading for Shabbat Chol HaMoed, the Sabbath of the intermediate days of Pesach (and Sukkot), describes one of the more exciting moments in Torah: the closest encounter any human has with God.

    Following the sin of the Golden Calf and Moses’ advocacy for the people, he makes a...

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  • Torah portion: Purity for every person

    by Rabbi Yehuda Hausman

    April 9, 2014 | 12:49 pm

    For several weeks, we’ve plodded through unsettling descriptions of genital discharges, fungi-infested homes, postpartum impurity, skin discolorations, corpse contaminations and all manner of priestly diagnoses and prognoses. These sections of Leviticus are as foreign to modern...

  • Healing bodies and souls: Parashat Metzora (Leviticus 14:1-15:33)

    By Rabbi Joshua Levine Grater

    April 2, 2014 | 1:57 pm

    On the margins is where some of the most profound holy acts are performed. Standing with those who are in the shadows, on the margins of society, those who have been abandoned, those in our communities who frighten us, who push us to see our own vulnerability, human beings we...

  • Torah portion: He is pure, she is pure

    by Rabbi Avivah W. Erlick

    March 26, 2014 | 10:41 am

    Many people think the description in this week’s parasha, Tazria, of how the High Priest should treat lepers — by evicting them from the camp of Israel with a ritual, and accepting them back with another once they’ve healed — is so archaic as to make studying it absurd. The ancient...

  • Torah portion: Becoming a distinguished people

    by Rabbi Michael Barclay

    March 19, 2014 | 2:08 pm

    “You shall be holy, for I am holy”

    — Leviticus 11:45

    I always find that Parashat Shemini inspires young people to ask questions. “Why did Aaron’s sons have to die?” “Why can’t I have a drink and get a little tipsy if it will help me enjoy services more?” And, of course, the...

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