Weekly Torah Portion

The problem of Korach is a tricky one. Although we do recognize the honesty, wisdom, self-sacrifice, dedication, and other outstanding character traits that make Moshe and his brother Aharon fit and proper leaders, our modern commitment to democracy, equality, and egalitarianism kind of wants us to agree with Korach and his rebellion against Moshe and Aharon. It really does seem a bit unfair, and nepotistic, that the leadership roles keep going to the brothers and their family.


Previous Torah Portions

Our Jewish and Western cultures, and many others, I am sure, are full of expressions such as ‘may the punishment fit the crime’, ‘he got what he deserved”, ‘an eye for an eye’, ‘measure for measure’,  'מידה כנגד מידה' , and similar notions of how punishments are meant to somehow reflect or balance the nature of the crime committed.
An interesting theme runs through the end of last week’s parsha, Naso, and the beginning of this week’s, Beha’alotcha. At the end of Naso, the נשיאים   - the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel, approach Moshe with an unasked-for gift – wagons, and oxen to pull them, for carrying the Tabernacle and its vessels.
This week we begin the book of Bamidbar, which means “in the desert” – which is where it all takes place. In English it’s called Numbers, as it begins with and contains a number of censuses of the Israelites.

Jewish Holidays

Pesach: I'm a Political Man: The Splitting of the Sea and talking politics in shul

For a while now – and quite intensively over the past months – a lively conversation about whether we should mix politics and religion has been goi

Jewish Life Cycle

One of the most important mitzvoth in the Torah is called the מת מצוה (met mitzvah) – a deceased person whom it is a commandment to bury.

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