In this week’s double Parsha,Tazria/Metzora, the Torah teaches about a spiritual malady that manifested itself physically in the form of scaly patches on the skin. This disease,tzara’at, is often mistranslated as leprosy, but they are two separate conditions with two different sets of symptoms.
Maayan Jaffe There is something about “Hatikvah.” Every time I hear the Israeli national anthem, I get chills. Sometimes, tears. It is a short message, but one that gets to the heart of who we are as a Jewish people. The lyrics: “As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart, with… Read More
As Christians and Jews gather during their respective Easter and Passover holidays this weekend, we recall all that American Jews and liberal Protestants have accomplished together. But pride in the past should not blind us to the danger that this relationship could be derailed by pernicious responses to the Arab-Israeli conflict within certain churches.
At first read, it seems difficult to find a convergent theme for parshat Shemini. The parsha begins with the inauguration of the Mishkan, God’s “earthly dwelling place.” The great happiness of this inauguration is clouded by the death of Nadav and Avihu, two of Aaron’s sons, who had brought an “alien offering” (10:2). However, Aaron’s enigmatic silence… Read More
Everyone loved Shana. In her quiet way, Shana would ask the girls to play jump rope or sardines at recess. She would spend time reading quietly in her room. I was one of her biggest fans — until the day the trouble began. It was the middle days of Passover, and Shana had come over… Read More
In the Torah reading for Shabbat Chol Hamoed, Moshe makes an interesting request. He asks God: “Hareini na et kivodecha” (Exodus 33:18), which literally translates as “Show me your honor.” Moshe knew God better than anyone. He spoke to God directly. It was through Moshe that God performed many miracles. So what did he mean… Read More
It was just over a month ago that my 5-year-old daughter’s Purim play took place on a Tuesday. Tuesday, in my world, is production day. That means from when I get in that morning until I go home, usually very late that evening, I am reading and editing pages, finalizing story lists, determining the paper’s… Read More
At our Seders we will recite, “We were slaves of Pharoah in Egypt,” and we will repeat the words “slaves” and “slavery” many times. Yes, we’ll talk about slavery, but how many of us have done anything about it? One hundred and fifty years ago this July 1 at Gettysburg, Jewish soldiers of the 82nd… Read More
Last Thursday, I celebrated my 26th birthday, and it got me thinking: I’m certainly in a different place in my professional life than I was this time last year. On March 21 — last year — I had reached a point where I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be a journalist anymore.
Maayan Jaffe It’s almost Pesach. I have to admit that I am excited. I know I’m among the minority of the Jewish people, but I like eating unleavened bread and cookies made out of ground almonds and potato starch. I especially like freshly ground horseradish. But more than that, I love the Passover Seder.