Author Archives: Torah Buzz

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 […]

Good Citizenship Requires Individual Participation

Sep 18

Shanah Tovah everyone! Happy Second Day of 5773! Today we look at Va-Yikra, Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26 – the first reading of Leviticus. Leviticus opens with a lot of talk of offerings – the different kinds of things we must offer up on an altar in ancient Israelite religious practices. We no longer do these, […]

Rabbi Jonathan’s Rosh HaShanah Sermon: Wrestling With Discomfort

Sep 18

“Wrestling With Discomfort” Erev Rosh HaShanah 5773 – September 16, 2012 Temple Beth El, Charlotte, North Carolina Rabbi Jonathan Freirich Four years ago during the High Holy Day season my father lay on his deathbed. Ginny and Jude, then an infant, and I crossed the country from Tahoe to Charlotte to be with him in […]

Listen closely, go forward together

Sep 16

Rosh HaShanah starts tonight – last daily post of 5772! May everyone have a sweet and good new year! Today we look at P’kudei, Exodus 38:21 – 40:38 – the final Torah reading of Exodus. We read about a full inventory of the things that went into the building of the Mishkan, the portable Temple-Tent […]

Accepting our limits allows us to go farther

Sep 15

Tomorrow night is Rosh HaShanah – the daily Elul thought will transform into daily thought for the High Holy Days or Days of Awe, as the month of Elul will end, and become the month of Tishrei. Make sure to take time out to acknowledge the Jewish New Year on Sunday night, and Monday, and […]