Author Archives: Torah Buzz

Yizkor Message – Community Memorial Service – September 23, 2012

Sep 28

The Place Where We are Absolutely Right – Yehuda Amichai From the place where we are absolutely right flowers will never grow in the spring. The place where we are absolutely right is trampled, hardened like a courtyard. However doubts and loves make the world rise like dough like a molehill, like a plow. And […]

Our Names – Rabbi Jonathan’s Yom Kippur Sermon

Sep 27

Yom Kippur Morning 5773 – Wednesday, September 27, 2012 Temple Beth El, Charlotte, North Carolina G’mar Chatimah Tovah – may we all be inscribed for a good New Year. Leah got a rough deal. Her father snuck her under the veil and married her off to Jacob, who was supposed to marry her sister. Leah […]

Aim for holiness in the New Year

Sep 25

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at K’doshim, Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27 – the holiness code, a list of behaviors that Jews identify as fulfilling the verse that appears early in this reading: Lev. 19:2 Speak to the entire community of the Israelites, and say to them: Holy are you […]

Life continues in doubts and loves

Sep 24

[Rabbi Jonathan’s houghts on remembrance for the Community Memorial Service at the Hebrew Cemetery in Charlotte, NC, Sunday, September 23, 2012] A Poem, by Yehuda Amichai The Place Where We are Absolutely Right From the place where we are absolutely right flowers will never grow in the spring. The place where we are absolutely right […]

Leviticus Says Nothing About Homosexuality

Sep 23

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at Acharei Mot, Leviticus 16:1 – 18:30 – the offerings required of Aaron, including the one for all of the sins of the Israelites on the Day of Atonement, prohibitions against hunting, and a host of laws about prohibited relationships. After that long list […]

Bodies are sources of holiness too

Sep 22

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at M’tzorah, Leviticus 14:1 – 15:33 – ritual impurities around mysterious skin conditions (not leprosy, BTW), and ritual impurities around sexual relationships. What’s the deal with the impurities? What kind of superstitious mumbo-jumbo is this? Let us depart from the judgmental attitude towards cleanliness […]

Help each other leave judgment behind

Sep 21

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at Tazree-ah, Leviticus 12:1 – 13:59 – skin eruptions, ritual impurity, and how the ancient priest diagnosed these things. We should remember that the Torah does not serve as a medical manual, even for its ancient time. Rather, we recognize that the Torah offers […]

Silence may be our best response

Sep 20

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at Sh’mini, Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47 – priestly offerings, the strange and horrible deaths of Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu, and the rules of kosher eating. We can’t easily ignore the death of Aaron’s sons, here’s the full text: Lev. 10:1 Now Aaron’s sons, […]

Keeping the Community Warm

Sep 19

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at Tzav, Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36 – lots more about offerings and the practices of the priesthood. Also, these verses requiring the priests to maintain a fire: Lev. 6:5 Now the fire on the slaughter-site is to be kept-blazing upon it – it must […]