Shabbat Ki Tavo: What Kind of Jew Are You?

This week’s parashah begins with a rare example of actual prayer formula in ancient Israel. Most of the time, “prayer”, that is, seeking to communicate with G-d, was expressed in a non-verbal form, that of sacrifice. A close look at the book VaYikra (Leviticus) will demonstrate the truth my former teacher taught in his book TheContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tavo: What Kind of Jew Are You?”

Shabbat hol hamo’ed Sukkot 5774: What is the Fruit of Your Life?

A very long time ago, our Israelite ancestors were practicing a particular ritual of thanksgiving at this Sukkot Harvest Festival time of year:   And it shall be, when you come into the land that  יה G-d is about to give you in estate, and you take hold of it and dwell in it, you shall takeContinue reading “Shabbat hol hamo’ed Sukkot 5774: What is the Fruit of Your Life?”

Shabbat Ki Tavo: What Are Your First Fruits?

This week’s parashah begins with a somewhat unusually detailed description of a ritual meant to give thanks for the harvest. Later in the parashah we are told to celebrate with a big meal and invite all your friends, and be generous too, and invite neighbors and others who might otherwise be left out. The initialContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tavo: What Are Your First Fruits?”