TORAH TIDBIT

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David.
Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra

Metzorah (Leviticus 14:1-15:33)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Metzorah (Leviticus 14:1-15:33) (someone who suffers from leprosy).

How do we treat members of our community who suffer from diseases that disgust us? In the Torah, we sent them outside of our camp; however, we also attempted to cure them. There was an entire process in order to bring them back to our midst.

What do we do today? How do we treat the people who are marginalized by us? Do we try and reenter them to our midst? Should we learn from our ancestors?

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra

Tazria (Leviticus 12:1−13:59)

This Week’s Torah Portion:  Tazria (Leviticus 12:1−13:59)

The Baal Shem Tov, the mystical founder of Hasidic Judaism, once said: 

“We must always bear in mind that God is always with us… When we look at any material thing, we are really gazing at the image of God which is present in all things.”

This week’s Torah Portion, Tazria, puts that grandest conception of Hasidic mysticism, that the presence of God infuses all things, to what might be its greatest test. Leprosy, Acne, and Afterbirth – these are the topics of Tazria. A Biblical collection of all that slimes and oozes, it is hard see the purpose of these ancient rites and rituals, much less the Divine spark of God which resides within them all. And yet, beneath Tazria’s slime and ooze lies a message of the holiness of life. From the moment of our birth, through the awkward acne of our adolescence, and even in the face of life threatening illness, God is there. We are never alone, neither in times of light nor times of darkness, because “God is always with us.” 

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra

Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1−11:47)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1−11:47)

There are 304,805 letters in the Torah and according to the Talmud the middle letter of the Torah is found in this week’s Portion Sh’mini. That middle letter is the letter “vav” which seems appropriate because the shape of the letter is barely more than a straight line, a dividing line between the beginning of the Torah and its end. The letter “vav” standing in the middle of Leviticus 11:42 is called the “heart” of the Torah.

The Torah is our guide for becoming just and righteous people and building together a just and righteous society. Are we halfway there in learning these lessons from the Torah? Are we halfway there in living these lessons and making them real in our lives and our world? And if not, maybe we need to pick up the pace a little bit. In the words of our teacher Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am for myself alone, what am I? And if not now when?”

Torah Tidbits - Study Judaism with Rabbi Rapport and Rabbi David. Ki Tisa Tetzaveh Pekudei Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1−5:26)The opening word of Leviticus that gives the book and this first parashah its name is Vayikra

Tzav (Leviticus 6:1−8:36)

This Week’s Torah Portion: Tzav (Leviticus 6:1−8:36)

This week’s portion from the Torah includes the command: “Fire shall be kept burning upon the altar continually (tamid), it shall not go out.” This is the Biblical origins of our Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light. But, from what we know of the Ner Tamid in Temple times, that “Eternal Light” was kindled again and again every day.

The Ner Tamid is a symbol of God’s Eternal presence among our people and throughout the world. For our ancestors, that meant an Eternal promise, for us it means keeping that light burning always. Keeping that light burning means being partners with God in the kindling of God’s light every day in and every age. How do you bring light to the world each day?

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