Parashat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Leviticus 16:1-20:27)

“You shall not render an unfair decision: do not favor the poor or show deference to the rich; judge your kinsman fairly.” (Leviticus 19:15) We read two parashot (portions) this week because of how the Jewish calendar is calculated. Months are determined by the moon’s cycle, but the year is determined by the sun’s. Therefore, […]

What’s Going On?

Marvin Gaye

Where is music when the world is spinning too fast, when the sky is crying, when we have lost our way? Tests of communal will arose this week – all too fast and strong, and almost too big to fathom. Our eyes filled with the sight of friends in Baltimore embroiled in anger and unrest […]

Four streams of Judaism gather for chaplaincy program

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JWB to host Shabbaton and annual training course in Annapolis As the longest-serving endorser of Jewish chaplains for the U.S. military, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council will hold its annual training course and Shabbaton on May 1-6 at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. “Maintaining the Jewish in Our Identity: Authentically Jewish Ministry in […]

Parashat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-13:59)

“The priest shall order two live clean birds, cedar wood, crimson stuff, and hyssop to be brought for him who is to be cleansed.” (Leviticus 14:4) We read two parashot (portions) this week because of the way the Jewish calendar is calculated. Months are determined by the moon’s cycle, but the year is determined by […]

Yom Hazikaron – Israel’s Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror

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Today, Israel and the Jewish world observes Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s national Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, and ceremonies nationwide honor the 23,320 servicemen and victims of terror who had fallen since 1860. This year that has elapsed since last Yom Hazikaron has been a very difficult one, beginning with the cruel […]

Parashat Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

“And you must teach the Israelites all the laws which the Lord has imparted to them through Moses.” (Leviticus 10:11) Parashat Sh’mini is a bit of a shocker. After seven days of intense spiritual preparation, the kohanim (priests) begin to offer sacrifices on the newly consecrated altar in the mishkan (Tabernacle). When Nadav and Avihu, […]

The ways we remember

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“We are still here. And no matter what, we shall continue to be here to tell people so they can learn from our history.” Elie Wiesel At exactly 10 a.m. today the Jewish state paused for two minutes as a siren wailed across the country to mark Yom Hashoah-Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. 2015 marks […]

Out of Narrow Straits, But Now What?

Leonard Cohen at the Arena in Geneva, 27 October 2008

Each year the traditions of Passover ask us to talk ourselves out of a terrible bind. Mitzraim — Hebrew for Egypt — literally means “narrow straits.” The only way to get through this tight squeeze is telling the story of how we escaped long ago. And the more we embellish this story, the Haggadah says, […]

Last Day of Pesach (Passover) (Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17)

“After eating unleavened bread six days, you shall hold a solemn gathering for the Lord your God on the seventh day; you shall do no work.” (Deuteronomy 16:8) The last day of Pesach falls on Shabbat so the regular parasha, or portion, is pre-empted by a special holiday reading. The selection describes a variety of […]

6 Second Hebrew: Bread, Rain, Garden

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Words for spring.

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