Tag Archives: fairness

Acharei Mot – Kedoshim (Lev. 16:1 – 20:27)

(Comments from 2018, slightly edited. I found Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ comments, quoted at the end, particularly insightful.) This week: Sex and holiness. Acharei Mot (Lev. 16:1-18:30) is the first part of this double portion and means “after the death of,” … Continue reading

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Shoftim (Deut. 16:18 – 21:9)

[I am getting over a GI bug, so the nuts-and-bolts description of what is in Shoftim, from “In verse 16:20” through “haughty heart” is mainly lifted from last year.  The rest is current.] The Israelites are progressing toward a fair … Continue reading

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Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:8)

This past week, I saw my second Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie, the first being the documentary “RBG.” I wondered whether “On the Basis of Sex” would be redundant or overly Hollywood-ized.  It wasn’t.  Besides being awed again at her ability … Continue reading

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Shoftim (Deut. 16:18 – 21:9)

A community needs a legal system with an agreed-upon framework of courts, judges, magistrates, laws, and a means of changing laws.  Is justice a necessary consequence of obeying the law?  Of course not. Recognition that obedience leads to injustice is … Continue reading

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Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:8), Shabbat Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16)

I was going to give you a discourse about the roles of law in society, the tension between law and justice, laws as living things that are allowed to wither away – even without formal repeal – as society finds … Continue reading

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Shoftim (Deut. 16:18 – 21:9)

Yes, I saw the solar eclipse on Monday.  I got a pair of ISO certified 12312-2:2015 cardboard-framed glasses at the local library and spent a couple hours lying on the grass, alternating between staring upwards and reading my magazine.  The … Continue reading

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Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:8)

I just had lunch with a scientist who wants to be a patent agent (or thinks he wants to be), and I was reminded how boring it can be to read a patent straight through from start to finish.  Reading … Continue reading

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Shoftim (Deut. 16:18 – 21:9)

This week’s Torah portion, Shoftim, is about justice and setting up a legal system by which to obtain it.  Almost immediately, we read, tzedek tzedek tirdof l’maan tichyeh – justice, justice pursue, that you may live (Deut. 16:20).  While there … Continue reading

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Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:8), Shabbat Shekalim

It is February and I am irritable.  That is a redundancy.  Yes, I’m glad I’m not buried in Boston under 5 feet of snow (“Buried in Boston” sounds like either the title of a murder mystery or a headline about … Continue reading

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Shoftim (Deut. 16:18 – 21:9)

No matter what your encouraging teachers told you, there are indeed stupid questions.  Examples from Yahoo Answers, compiled by BuzzFeed: “I know it’s bad to look at the sun, but what if I took a picture of it with my … Continue reading

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