Shabbat Shemini: Teach Us To Count Our Days

למנות ימינו כן הודע ונביא לבב חכמה Limnot yameynu keyn hoda’ v’navi levav hokhmah “Teach us to count our days that we might acquire a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90.12 “What day is it?” This isolation we are practicing for the sake of public health, and the disruption of the routines that define the daysContinue reading “Shabbat Shemini: Teach Us To Count Our Days”

Shabbat Akharey Mot-Kedoshim: In All This Death, Where Is Holiness? Right Here at the Door

How often does Torah arouse human beings, how often does she raise her voice in every direction to awaken them! Yet they all sleep, with slumber in their sockets, neither observing nor caring….Woe to them, woe to their souls! For Torah admonishes them, saying, “Whoever is a fool let him turn aside here, the oneContinue reading “Shabbat Akharey Mot-Kedoshim: In All This Death, Where Is Holiness? Right Here at the Door”

Shabbat Parah: This Calf Makes Sense, This Cow Does Not

This Shabbat is called Shemini, “eighth”, because the parashah begins with an account of the eighth and final day of the ritual of ordination into the priesthood for the very first High Priest, Aaron, and his sons, who were now his assistants. For seven days they have carried out a precise order of sacrifices andContinue reading “Shabbat Parah: This Calf Makes Sense, This Cow Does Not”

“Out of chaos He formed substance, making what is not into what is. He hewed enormous pillars out of ether that cannot be grasped.” – Sefer Yetzirah 2.6

Note the uncanny resemblance of these “enormous pillars” to the Hebrew letter shin which is used to indicate God’s protective Name Shaddai. The website Students for the Exploration and Development of Space explains: These eerie, dark pillar- like structures are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for newContinue reading ““Out of chaos He formed substance, making what is not into what is. He hewed enormous pillars out of ether that cannot be grasped.” – Sefer Yetzirah 2.6”

Parashat hashavuah: Terumah – Lift It Up

The parashat hashavua this week begins with a command: “Tell the Israelite people that when they take up an offering for Me; every person whose heart is moved to generosity can make that offering.” (Exodus 25.2) This begins the narrative of the building of the Mishkan, the sacred space in which the Israelite people would focus upon being in God’sContinue reading “Parashat hashavuah: Terumah – Lift It Up”