Tag Archives: Nehama Leibowitz

Nitzavim-Vayeilekh (Deut. 29:9-31:30)

UPDATED: I was reminded I had promised to include a wedding photo. Here it is. This is the last Shabbat for the year 5780; Rosh Hashanah 5781 starts next Friday night. We read the last of the seven Haftarot of … Continue reading

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Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11), Tisha B’Av, Shabbat Nachamu

Tisha B’Av (9th day of the month of Av) has just ended. Like Yom Kippur, it is a fast day.  Otherwise, it is its opposite in tone.  Yom Kippur, the “white fast,” is solemn, marked by long services in packed synagogues, focusing … Continue reading

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Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)

Note: Since Shavuot is only one day in Israel, Naso was read last week there. Comments are from 2018, with a 2020 addendum to my hair history. Suspected adultery! Hair*! Samson!  All this and more this week! *Scroll past the … Continue reading

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Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26)

(Comments mainly from 2014 and 2016, tweaked) Most people do not react kindly when you say “Leviticus,” which is the book we start reading this week.  Granted, it does contain some descriptions and prescriptions that are yucky or offensive or … Continue reading

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Ki Tissa (Exodus 30:11 – 34:35), Shabbat Parah (Numbers 19:1-22)

(Mainly 2012 & 2016 comments, edited)  Ki Tissa is a portion of many moods: peaceful instruction, fear, orgiastic celebration, anger, repentance, and spiritual communion.  The beginning is the conclusion of the instructions to Moses on Mt. Sinai concerning the Tabernacle … Continue reading

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Ki Tetse (Deut. 21:10 – 25:19)

Last week, we learned about pursuing justice to create a compassionate society.  This week, we read about 6 dozen laws that are meant to enable us to do that. The U.S. is not a theocracy.  However, I do get annoyed … 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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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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Yitro (Exodus 18:1 – 20:23)

Busy week. Comments from 2018, wistfully: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Me.” That verse, Exodus 19:4, is in this week’s Torah reading, right before the … Continue reading

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Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)

Locusts, darkness, the slaying of the firstborn, the first Passover, THE Exodus, and then – tefillin? It is difficult for us city dwellers to appreciate the havoc a plague of locusts (yes, “plague” is the term for a group of … Continue reading

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