Tag Archives: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

This week: a rare peaceful interlude in the stories of biblical family life. [For tension and intrigue, see the accompanying haftarah, 1 Kings 1:1-31, in which David is dying and his throne, promised to Solomon, is usurped by another son, … Continue reading

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Mattot-Masei (Numbers 30:2- 36:13)

It’s August.  I am grouchy.  People in our increasingly mean and cruel government continue to get away with ignoring subpoenas and court orders and even their own rules, destroying the hopes of refugees, scarring children emotionally for life, breaking the … Continue reading

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Balak (Numbers 22:2 – 25:9)

What on earth? We’ve just read that the Israelites are finally across the Jordan from the Promised Land.  Now we get a story full of slapstick, including a talking donkey, with no Israelites taking an active part until the last … 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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B’Haalotekha (Numbers 8:1 – 12:16)

Whine. Kvetch. Whine, whine, whine. Kvetch. And this reading starts out so positively.  As if we’re having a lovely dream or a happily-ever-after story read to us as we drift off.  Then we wake up to a bleak reality.  The … Continue reading

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Acharei Mot–Kedoshim

This week: sex and holiness. But first, a note on Lag B’Omer, which occurs next Thursday.  “Lag” is 33 using the Hebrew alphabet: lamed=30 plus gimel=3.  Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of “counting the omer” (a barley measure, now … Continue reading

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Ki Tissa (Ex. 30:11 – 34:35)

It’s March.  It still feels like February. I think I’m losing it.  A few days ago, during a brief discussion about how the chorus sometimes gets into a piece very quickly while it takes us a while to warm up … Continue reading

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