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Parashat Vayikra

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
Parashat Vayak’heil-Pekudei

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
Engaging with Israel (Parashat Ki Tisa)

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.

Michael S. Friedman
Parashat T’tzaveh

Michael S. Friedman  |  March 2, 2012

?In Parashat T’tzaveh, which we’re about to read, we learn all about the garments of the high priest. And we’re told all about the tunic and the pants and the headdress and the breastplate, even the shoes, that the high priest was to wear back in the ancient days as he officiated the service at the Temple.

Michael S. Friedman
Parashat T’rumah

Michael S. Friedman  |  February 24, 2012

?Parashat T’rumah, which we read this week, asks us what makes a place holy. In the opening lines of the parashah, we read about the building of the Mishkan or the Tabernacle or the tent that we, the Jewish people, carried through the desert for forty years and that’s where we worshipped God and it says in the eighth verse of the Torah portion, “Ve’asu li mikdash veshachanti betocham.” “Make me literally a makom kadosh, a holy place, and that’s where I,” God says, “will dwell among you.” But it doesn’t say exactly what qualifies as a holy place.

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