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Covenant & Conversation

The power of ritual is that it does not speak in abstractions – reason versus emotion, instinctual deferral rather than gratification
Leaders, above all, should be capable of acknowledging when and how they had erred, and how to put it right.
The Scapegoat: Atonement and Purification
Why two identical animals whose fate, so different, was decided by the drawing of a lot? And who or what was Azazel?
Sprints & Marathons
Moses had to contend with both sides: inducing the Israelites to do teshuvah and G-d to exercise forgiveness.
There is another difference, which explains why Judaism is overwhelmingly a guilt rather than a shame culture.
Love and Hate
Understanding two different approaches to a single verse: the social vs. the interpersonal.
Uncritical followership and habits of silent obedience give rise to the corruptions of power, or sometimes simply to avoidable catastrophes.
What are we? What makes us Jewish? This has been one of the persisting debates about Jewish life ever since the nineteenth century.
Something fundamental happens at the beginning of this parsha and the story is one of the greatest, if rarely acknowledged, contributions of Judaism to the world.
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