Michael S. Friedman | April 7, 2012
?What did we read this morning? We read about the command to celebrate this festival by eating unleavened bread. But that’s only one part of our observance of this festival today. The other part of course is gathering together, asking questions, and telling the story. Telling the story of the liberation. Because, as we’re told, you shall tell your child or you shall tell one another this story of liberation. That’s what we are commanded to do.
Peter J. Rubinstein | March 30, 2012
?So this is Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Sabbath. It’s the Sabbath that always every year precedes the onset of Pesach. But there’s a unique irony in that the Torah reading for this week, Tzav, is really not one that in any way deals with great themes of redemption or history; in fact, it’s a Torah reading about sacrifices and quite explicit in the gory details of those sacrifices: the dismemberment of animals, the sprinkling of blood. In fact, it’s a portion the first of several that are difficult for us take in relation. And yet it is the portion for this week, and we take note of it.
Cantor Liz Sacks | March 23, 2012
?This week we begin the third book of our Torah, the book of Vayikra, the book of Leviticus. And unfortunately, many people consider this the boring book of the Torah. Or one of the boring books of the Torah, I think there were two that win that prize. But, surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, I don’t agree with that assessment.
Peter J. Rubinstein | March 16, 2012
?Typically, whenever we have two portions that are coupled, that means that we’re coming to the end of a book as it is this evening. We are reading a double portion, Vayak’heil–Pekudei. It is the end of the book of Shemot which means, for those of us who are in the business of the rhythm of the year, we know we’re two-fifths towards the High Holidays. Just something to keep in mind.
Maurice A. Salth | March 9, 2012
This year, Purim fell during a time when we read of disturbing news for the country of Israel: news about the concern of Iran obtaining the capacity to build a nuclear weapon to threaten Israel and others in our world. Those of us that have been following this story are aware of how serious such a threat is. There is much to talk about this issue—too much to address tonight in full—but I’d like to share a few reflections on this important matter.
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