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Posts by JCC Association

The Conversation: Q&A With Hollie Arnold and Ali Helms

Breaking Down The Silos “We are the hosts and hostesses, and you are coming here for a gathering, and we want to roll out the best for our guests.” Hollie Arnold is the Membership Director, and Ali Helms is the Fitness Director, of the Jewish Community Alliance in Jacksonville, Fl. They spoke with us by … Continued

Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)

“The Israelites shall camp each with his standard, under the banners of their ancestral house; they shall camp around the Tent of Meeting at a distance (Numbers 2:2) Each book of the Torah has a central theme.  Genesis is about beginnings, both of the world and God’s brit (covenant) with the Jewish people.  Exodus is … Continued

Parashat B’chukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34)

These are the commandments that God gave Moses for the Israelite people on Mount Sinai (Leviticus 27:33) Parashat B’chukotai closes out the book of Leviticus with a list of blessings for following God’s commandments and a list of curses–three times as long!–for not following.  The final chapter (which many scholars consider a later addition to … Continued

Parashat B’har (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)

“But in the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath of complete rest, a Sabbath of the Lord…” (Leviticus 25:4) Zionism and the creation of the State of Israel 63 years ago presented a challenge to its Jews committed to halacha (Jewish law).  Jewish sovereignty (for the first time in 2,000 years) now required … Continued

Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

“You shall take choice flour and bake of it twelve loaves, two-tenths of a measure for each loaf.” (Leviticus 24:5) The American sociologist William Graham Sumner coined the term folkways to describe the informal norms or customs of a society (as opposed to behaviors legislated by law).  So, for example, placing two challot (plural of … Continued

Parashat Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1-20:27)

“Do not hate your brother/sister in your heart; you shall rebuke your neighbor but bear no sin because of him/her.” – Leviticus 19:17 Parashat Kedoshim (kedoshim is the plural of kadosh, holy) includes key moral precepts and ritual laws, many of which are restatements of the Ten Commandments as found in Exodus and Deuteronomy. Kedoshim … Continued

Parashat Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1-18:27)

“For on this day expiation shall be made for you to purify you of all your sins; you shall be pure before the Lord” (Leviticus 16:30) Parashat Acharei Mot begins with a description of the Yom Kippur ritual for purifying the mishkan (Tabernacle).  The peak moment of the ritual was the incense ceremony, in which … Continued

Parashat Metzora (Leviticus 14:1-15:33)

“When you enter the land of Canaan that I give you as a possession, and I inflict an eruptive plague upon a house in the land you possess, the owner of the house shall come and tell the priest…” ( Leviticus 14:33) Adults react to the Torah differently than children.  Parashat Metzora is a case … Continued

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

“…The priest shall make expiation on her behalf, and she shall be pure.” (Leviticus 12:8) Parashat Tazria catalogues a variety of skin abnormalities that need to be examined by the kohen, or priest.  The Torah assumes that physical ailments could be divine punishment for spiritual or ritual wrong-doing.  If the kohen diagnoses impurity, the person … Continued