Shabbat Parah: Being Seen (Trans Visibility Shabbat)

This Shabbat we mark another of the special Shabbatot that count down (up, rather) to Pesakh: this Shabbat which is Shemini in our regular cycle of readings is also Shabbat Parah, named for a red heifer. Each of the special readings added during this time brings our attention to an important aspect of the Festival ofContinue reading “Shabbat Parah: Being Seen (Trans Visibility Shabbat)”

Shabbat Tzav: how to Keep that Fire Burning

This evening as Shabbat begins, the holiday of Purim finally ends, with the extra day called Shushan Purim, the Purim celebrated one day later by those who live in cities that were walled at the time of the Purim story, which takes place in ancient Persia (during the First Exile, 586-520 BCE, when the Jewish refugeesContinue reading “Shabbat Tzav: how to Keep that Fire Burning”

Shabbat VaYikra: Salaam, Shalom, Peace

This week our parashat hashavua is VaYikra, which translates as a calling upon, or calling out – out loud. G*d calls upon Moshe to act to evoke holiness in the world, and G*d similarly calls upon us. Though we do not hear a voice, we can sometimes feel that there is something that we areContinue reading “Shabbat VaYikra: Salaam, Shalom, Peace”

Shabbat Pekudey, Adar II Begins: Don’t Burn the Day

These days, being happy is not easy. Reasons to be sad, to be worried, or to be outraged are easy to find – and late winter’s gloomy chill doesn’t do much to lighten the mood. Even as I have heard some say that Tisha B’Av is impossible in Portland Oregon because the weather is soContinue reading “Shabbat Pekudey, Adar II Begins: Don’t Burn the Day”

Shabbat VaYakhel: Holiness and Desecration

Last week our parashat hashavua related a low moment for our people, in which our lack of trust in each other and lack of commitment to our values led to what is called in Jewish tradition hillul haShem, the desecration of the Name of G*d. This is a much-misunderstood term which has not lost itsContinue reading “Shabbat VaYakhel: Holiness and Desecration”