Better They Learn from Me Parshat Korach

Conflict resolution is one of the most important tasks in human relations at every level. Open up any newspaper, and you will read of schoolchildren bullying each other, of married couples in bitter conflict, of political parties enmeshed in verbal warfare and of nations at war. What are some of the strategies available to foster… Read More

Our Ability to Accept

“And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite (Midianite) woman he had taken to wife (and divorced). And they said, ‘Did the Lord speak only to Moses? Did He not also speak to us?’” Toward the end of our biblical reading, we find this very strange dialogue between Miriam and Aaron, the… Read More

The Nazir and Narcissus Parshat Naso

Webster’s dictionary defines paradox as “a statement that is contradictory in fact and, hence, false.” In life, however, there are numerous paradoxes that are, strangely enough, not false at all. In religious life we find many such paradoxes, and one of them is to be found in the Torah portion that we read this week…. Read More

Importance of Heritage Parshat Behar-Bechukotai

This week’s parshah is a double portion, beginning first with Behar. It describes the Jubilee, a time every 50 years when property owners return to their leased land and, in turn, get it back. Some explanations for this law are that it was for economic fairness and for wealth being returned to those in need…. Read More

Words for the Next Generation Parshat Emor

When the rabbis divided the Torah into its 54 parshiyot, they generally arranged for each portion to begin with a unique or otherwise significant word that would in some way summarize major themes of the entire section. Such is the case for most of the portions we have studied in Leviticus — until we come… Read More

Good and Religious

It is a debate that goes back to the time of Plato. I have personally been discussing this issue for much of my life, particularly in my conversations with colleagues in the field of psychotherapy. It can even be argued that this debate has its origin in one of the two Torah portions we read… Read More

Making a Difference

The haftarah reading for this week’s parshah is about four lepers who were rejected from the Israelite city that they lived in. During this biblical time, there was a war between a nearby Aramean army camp and the city. The city was under siege and was running out of food. The four lepers were also… Read More

Kosher Laws Connect the Generations

This Shabbat, we read Parshat Shemini. In this parshah, Moses speaks to Aaron and the Israelite people, saying, “These are the animals that you may eat.” The Torah indicates the specifications for land animals, fish, birds and swarming things. In addition to the subject of kashrut discussed in this parshah, I find the topic of… Read More

A Diet of Holiness

The second half of Parshat Shemini begins with a discussion of the offerings that Aaron and his remaining two sons are to eat — including the goat for a sin-offering. When Moses hears that the goat already has been burned on the altar rather than eaten by Aaron and his sons within the holy space… Read More