Shabbat Ki Tisa: You, Too, Belong to Shabbat

This parashat hashavua is famous for a terrible breach in the relationship between G-d and the People Israel. That golden calf tends to overshadow the rest of the parashah even for those of us on the Triennial Cycle, who only read that specific passage once in three years! This year we read the first thirdContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tisa: You, Too, Belong to Shabbat”

Shabbat Tetzaveh: The Gold and the Wood

This week’s parashah, called Tetzaveh, describes the blueprint for the sacred space that the Israelites are commanded to create so that the Presence of G-d might be immanent in their midst. For the ancient Israelites, there is much excitement in defining and beautifying every little detail of this special place. And hiddur mitzvah, the urgeContinue reading “Shabbat Tetzaveh: The Gold and the Wood”

Shabbat Terumah: Keep the Fire Burning

In parashat Terumah we read of the ner tamid. You have perhaps noticed this light, since its direct descendant brings illumination in every shul in the world, usually somewhere near the Ark. It is often referred to as the “Eternal Light”.  But as we look at the verse that presents it, we see something aContinue reading “Shabbat Terumah: Keep the Fire Burning”

Shabbat Mishpatim: Kavanah is in the Details

In contrast to other religious paths, Judaism offers spiritual growth within a clear and coherent framework. The word halakhah – our “path” – is understood more commonly as our “law” because of the many mitzvot (“obligations”) which serve us as signposts along the way. Our parashat hashavua for this week contains fifty-three such mitzvot, and eachContinue reading “Shabbat Mishpatim: Kavanah is in the Details”