Category: Judaism

Tazria – Speech Pathology

Tum’ah, or “ritual defilement,” is invisible but consequential in many contexts, especially, though not exclusively, with regard to kodoshim, material holding holy status. And, in most cases of tum’ah impartation, the defilement happens as...

Shemini – Beware Phony Frumkeit

When describing the camel and pig, animals that lack either of the two signs required for their species to be considered consumable by Jews, the Torah’s wording is odd. Kosher species require cud-chewing and...

Tzav – The Constancy of His Kindnesses 

Among the various karbanos called shelamim, two are very limited regarding when their meat and accompaniments must be consumed – the day they are offered. Regular shelamim are permitted double that window of time....

Masquerading As Feminism

On Purim, Jewish men, to varying degrees, imbibe strong drink, and Jewish women do their best to keep them safe and anchored in civilization.  The holiday thus may not seem very female-centered.  But it...

Vayikra – Prelude to Prayer

Inordinate stress is put by the Talmud on being somech geulah litfillah, placing a reference to redemption immediately before prayer, i.e. the amidah (Berachos 9b). It isn’t clear why that is so important, but...

Vayakhel — Just Do It

It might be because last Shabbos was the yahrtzeit of my mother, Puah bas Rav Noach HaCohein, a”h. But, whatever the reason, she came to the fore of my mind when reviewing parshas Vayakhel,...

Ki Sisa — Knot Theory

The Hebrew words panim and achor (as in lifnei and acharei) are used in both a spatial and temporal sense – either as “front” and “back” or as “before” and “after.” One approach to...

Tetzaveh – Divine Right vs. Divine Role

There’s really no such thing as a kohein. At least not the way we generally pronounce the word in conversation, with the accent placed on the first syllable. In the Torah, the stress is...

Terumah – Ulterior Merits

The aron habris, the ark of the covenant that held the luchos, the tablets of the law, consisted of three nested boxes, the middle one of wood, the outer and inner ones of zahav...

Mishpatim — Full Moon Danger

On June 6, 1944, D-Day, more than 150,000 Allied troops stormed the coast of Normandy to begin the liberation of France from the Nazis. he criteria for choosing that day included a low but...

Pin It on Pinterest