Pesach 5776

What is it that drives a people to leave family, friends, community and home, cross seas and continents to enter a strange and foreign land? This week at our sedarim, we will retell the story of how our people, the Jewish people, were slaves in Egypt to Pharaoh and how … Read More

Parashat Metzora 5776

The use in History of categories such as “pure” and “impure” to divide human beings between “worthy” and “unworthy” has shown its deadly outcomes. Jews were segregated according to a supposedly racial inferiority. A French historian, Georges Bensoussan, published in 2006 a book called “Europe. Une passion génocidaire. Essai d’histoire … Read More

Parashat Tazria 5776

The Power of Rituals How are we, as Liberal Jews, to relate to this week’s Torah portion Tazria? Probably one of the least loved Torah portions in our cannon, the parashah focuses on the rituals that are connected to the mysterious disease Tzara’at. This disease is often incorrectly translated as … Read More

Parashat Shemini 5776

This coming August, it will be 14 years since I stood on the bimah of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue as my dear friend and colleague, Rabbi Erlene Wahlhaus, gave me s’michah, my rabbinic ordination. She drew me close as we stood before the Ark, reaching up to take my head … Read More

Parashat Tzav 5776

The description of the High Priest and his vestments in Tzav, our portion for this week, is one of awesome magnificence. He wears a tunic, a sash, a robe, a headdress, an ephod (which appears to be an apron-like article of clothing associated with divination,) a breastpiece, and, placed in … Read More

Parashat Vayikra 5776

When the Liberal Jew turns the page from the closing verses of Exodus to begin Sefer Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus, a very great challenge lies ahead. The founders of Liberal Judaism, even if they studied the first half of the Book of Leviticus, in all likelihood, excluded it from … Read More

Parashat Pekudei 5776

This week’s Torah portion is the final weekly section of the Book of Exodus. It is called Pekudei as it begins with a statistical record of the materials used for constructing the Mishkan (Tabernacle), moving through to its completion, God’s approval sealed with a cloud descending on the Tent. One … Read More