Torah Columns
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I no longer remember the name of my ninth-grade teacher of English literature. But I do remember well one of his important lessons. He taught us that there are many great works of literature … more
Perhaps the most powerful sensory experience in Judaism is the korban. Surrounded by the sights and scents of spiritual devotion and ritual sacrifice, we immerse ourselves in an environment that … more
He was an old man, and in many ways came from a very different world than I. And yet he taught me more than anyone else. One of the things he taught me was that no one suffers as much as a parent who … more
It should have been a great celebration. The Tabernacle, Israel’s first house of worship, was complete. For seven days, Moshe performed the inauguration. Now, the eighth day, the first of … more
This week’s parasha contains one of the Torah’s most difficult passages: “And Aharon’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, each took his pan, put fire in them, and placed incense upon it, … more
The first narrative in the book of Vayikra describes the eighth day of the dedication of the Mishkan, culminating with the deaths of Nadav and Avihu and the aftermath of that … more
A number of years ago, I had an uncomfortable experience. I ran into an old friend who, like me, is an alumnus of Yeshivat Har Etzion in the Gush. He had started a cutting-edge program for women … more
Have you ever been asked the question, “What is your earliest memory?” I have been asked many times. I was a graduate student in psychology when the question was posed. The answer was … more
There is a fascinating paradox in Tazria that relates to the laws of tzara’as, the spiritual malady, a skin discoloration that affects those who gossip. On one hand, only a kohen can either … more
At the start of this parsha is a cluster of laws that challenged and puzzled the commentators. They concern a woman who has just given birth. If she gives birth to a son, she is “unclean … more
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