Tag Archives: Mary T. Douglas

Acharei Mot – Kedoshim (Lev. 61:1 – 20:27)

I am currently working on a presentation for this coming Sunday, on how “natural” versus “man-made” items are valued in Jewish tradition and thus too mentally distracted to think a lot about atonement, forbidden sexual relationships, and holiness, the major … Continue reading

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Tazria-Metzora (Lev. 12:1 – 15:33)

“Eeewww! Gross!” That’s the typical reaction to the Torah portions Tazria (Lev. 12:1- 13:59) and Metzora (Lev. 14:1-15:33), especially if you’re 12 and have just been told this will be your Bar or Bat Mitzvah portion.  At least this year, … Continue reading

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Shemini (Lev. 9:1 – 11:47)

I am still foggily transitioning from Passover.  The boxes are packed but have not yet been moved to the basement.  And it’s a rainy day.  I remember a Sesame Street song from a few decades ago, It’s a Rainy Day, … Continue reading

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Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17), Shabbat Rosh Chodesh (Numbers 28:9-15)

  In this week’s portion, we get into the legal details of Deuteronomy. The portion begins, “Look, I place before you today a blessing and a curse,” the blessing for obeying the laws and the curse for not obeying.  In … Continue reading

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Shemini (Lev. 9:1 – 11:47), Shabbat Parah

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 before Passover on which we … Continue reading

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Ki Tetse (Deut. 21:10 – 25:19)

First, a few words about the haftarot we’ve been reading, the seven Haftarot of Consolation between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah.  The 14th c. sage Rabbi David Abudarham described the seven as a dialogue (see Nehama Leibowitz, Studies in Devarim, … Continue reading

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Emor (Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23)

Part of this week’s portion, Emor, is very familiar if you are a Torah reader for your congregation, attend services during the holidays and actually pay attention to the Torah reading, or read it for your Bar Mitzvah (like my … Continue reading

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