Tag Archives: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

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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Hayyei Sarah (Genesis 23.1-25.18)

It’s a relief to read this portion.  No threat of human sacrifice, no sister-wife lies, no banishment into the wilderness, no Sodom and Gomorrah, no incest.  Yes, Sarah dies, but she’s 127, and the portion is called “Hayyei Sarah,” the … Continue reading

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