Parshah Columnists

Guest Columnists
Did Nadab and Abihu Eat and Drink?
Pure, unadulterated faith defies all reason and remains ironclad even in the face of madness.
Renewable Energy in the Torah
No form of energy is of any use unless there is a way to channel and harness it. Otherwise, the energy simply dissipates.
The Rational Brain vs. the Emotional Brain
Acharei Mot
Leaving Egypt was not just a physical change in geography.
Why Is Torah Law So Restrictive of Contact Between the Genders?
Should any physical contact that is friendly be considered intimate? Hopefully, it should.
Wedding Speeches for Acharei
The Sin of Aaron's Sons
An Essay on Parshat Acharei Mot
The cause of the sin was overfamiliarity with G‑d and His service.
Weekly Sermonette
Moral Is Normal
Since there are people out there who, tragically, may have lost a leg, this would mean that the “average” person has something like 1.97 legs. But that isn’t quite “normal.” A normal person still has two legs...
Why Not Live Together Before Marriage?
Her friends were all telling her that she was making her life more difficult by refusing to cohabit before marriage.
For Friday Night
Towards a Successful Revolution
It may seem that the revolutionary attempt to break out of limitations without self-destructing is doomed to failure. However, the Rebbe comments, the teaching of our parshah is that it is possible.
Torah for Now
Take Your Body Along
If when involved in a holy experience we feel uplifted, but only the soul makes the trip while the body remains behind, we are making the same holy error as the children of Aaron.
What the Rebbe Taught Me
Are You Successful?
Some religious doctrines see marriage as a concession to human weakness. Nothing could be further from Jewish thought . . .
Reflections on the Parshah
Community Dis-service
A heightened sense of community responsibility is imperative -- but is that the highest priority?
What Do You Think?
Who Was Itamar?
The Little-Known Fourth Son of Aaron
We first read of Itamar’s role when we are told of sums of gold, silver and other supplies that were used to build and furnish the Mishkan
Eulogies for the Living
It seems there’s always so much good to say about those who have departed. But wasn’t the deceased, like all others, a human being? Did you really think that he was so perfect yesterday?
Parshah Messages
"Pass the Salt, Please..."
How does one simultaneously dwell in two contradictory worlds—the world of the spirit and the world of the flesh? Sprinkling every area of life with salt is the solution.
Parshah Blog
The Scapegoat
The scapegoat has been a laughingstock, fodder for the scoffers, since time immemorial. Even the Talmud singles out the scapegoat – from amongst all the sacrifices – as a potential source of derision.
Living through the Parshah
Conscious Cuisine
Once I was hooked on raw food, the awful restrictions seemed like a privileged progress towards a higher plane of sensitivity and consciousness—precisely the Jewish view of G-d’s restrictions.
Heaven Exposed
At Onement
On Yom Kippur we embrace. Our harmony is no longer a harmony of "should", but a harmony of "is". All is forgiven. At onement
Do We Love Too Much?
A love relationship can thus be compared to an electrical circuit: should the resistance fall, the circuit will “short” and burn out.
Day One
How can we possibly imagine that in the conglomerate of cells, organs and limbs we call our "body", extending across the hills and valleys of the terrain we call "time", there resides a single and singular "I"?
Parshah Recovery
Sobriety in the Home
What a letdown it was for many of us to learn that being clean and sober was not the elixir of love that we sought. Recovery didn't suddenly make us so irresistibly charming and desirable...
Covenant & Conversation
Thinking Fast and Slow
The power of ritual is that it does not speak in abstractions – reason versus emotion, instinctual deferral rather than gratification
The Courage to Admit Mistakes
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.
The Scapegoat: Shame and Guilt
There is another difference, which explains why Judaism is overwhelmingly a guilt rather than a shame culture.
Beyond Speech
How to Balance Life
On one hand, I had suffered so much. On the other hand, I love my family.
On the Haftarah: Supporting the Fallen
For the haftarah of Acharei Mot, From the Teachings of the Rebbe
G‑d says that we are to Him like the children of Kush (Ethiopia) and talks about how he took us out of Egypt.
Saving a Life Is Keeping Shabbat
Living with ALS, there were countless times that I had to be saved on Shabbat.
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