Category Archives: Uncategorized

First Two Days of Pesach

My dear husband, now retired, is shouldering a huge amount of the Passover preparation this year. He will get plenty of extra hugs. Passover (Pesach) has become the most overwhelming holiday in the Jewish calendar, at least in the U.S. … Continue reading

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Metzora (Lev.14:1-15:33), Shabbat HaGadol

I have this nagging sense that we have entered an age of global isolationism and disaster. But outdoors, I see all these hopeful signs of spring, trees with pink and white blossoms and delicate green leaves, brilliantly yellow daffodils and … Continue reading

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Torah Portion Humor – Tazria (Lev.12:1 – 13:59), Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (Num. 28:9 – 15), Shabbat HaChodesh (Ex. 12:1 – 20)

This week’s Torah portion, Tazria, delves further into causes of ritual impurity, not generally one’s favorite topic. At least it’s short.  It concerns ritual impurity associated with childbirth and with tzara’at, a skin affliction, formerly incorrectly identified with leprosy (Hansen’s disease), … Continue reading

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Shemini (Lev. 9:1 – 11:47), Shabbat Parah (Num. 19:1-22)

From 2016, edited a bit. This week: a stupendous ceremony that ends tragically, clean and unclean animals, and an extra portion about a red-haired young cow. We begin with the ending.  Tomorrow is Shabbat Parah, the third of four Shabbatot … Continue reading

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Tzav (Lev. 6:1 – 8:36)

This week: a coveted cleaning job, the “why” of sacrifices, and the ordination of Aaron and his sons.  First, more on the olah, the burnt (totally) offering. After it burns overnight, only ashes remain. The priest, dressed in linen ritual … Continue reading

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Torah Portion Humor, sort of – Purim Edition

Purim: What it is and how to observe.  Read the Book of Esther; it’s not that long and reads like a novel, which it may well be. [Quick scorecard: Mordechai is the hero and the uncle of Esther, a nice … Continue reading

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Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26), Shabbat Zachor (Deut. 25:17-19), Purim

[Taxes. Nagging cough.  Fatigue.  Not really in the mood for Leviticus or Purim.  I will send out Purim jokes separately, closer to the holiday.  Comments are from 2016.] Interesting mix of moods this week: We start Leviticus (Vayikra) with instructions … Continue reading

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