Shabbat Akharei Mot-Kedoshim: After Death, Holiness?

Not yet. This week we marked the 75th year since the declaration of independence of the modern State of Israel (we say it that way because this is the third time that Jews have been in a position of self-rule in our at least three thousand year history).  When the state was founded, the AshkenaziContinue reading “Shabbat Akharei Mot-Kedoshim: After Death, Holiness?”

Shabbat Tazria-Metzora 5783: In The Presence of Blood

הַדָּ֖ם ה֣וּא הַנָּ֑פֶשׁ  The blood is the life (Deut. 12.23) Among other bodily fluids, the double parashah which is this week’s Torah reading, Tazria-Metzora, focuses upon blood. The blood of a woman giving birth is one of the most holy substances that exists. In our clumsy translations of the ancient Hebrew, we refer to thatContinue reading “Shabbat Tazria-Metzora 5783: In The Presence of Blood”

Shabbat Hol HaMo’ed Pesakh 5783: Song of Songs

Ostracon with Song of Songs text in Coptic, 400 CE, Thebes Egypt. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא…שֶׁאֵין כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ כְדַאי כַּיּוֹם שֶׁנִּתַּן בּוֹ שִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, שֶׁכָּל הַכְּתוּבִים קֹדֶשׁ, וְשִׁיר הַשִּׁירִים קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים. [Rabbi Akiba said:] The whole world is not as worthy as the day on which the SongContinue reading “Shabbat Hol HaMo’ed Pesakh 5783: Song of Songs”