Elie Wiesel shared these words with the world for Holocaust Remembrance Day: “I still believe that one minute before one dies, there may be hope in his or her heart—one minute before one dies, he or she is still immortal... " Ours is a tradition that relishes in the inversion of the expected.
My elementary school teacher believed the question mark was inspired by the curiosity of the cat.... At this season, Jews around the world will begin the holiday of Passover, the “holiday of questions.” Passover is known by many other names, but this association with questions is linked all the way back to the Torah.
In Parashat Acharei Mot, we read: "You must keep My laws and My rules, you must not do any of those abhorrent things, neither the citizen nor the stranger who resides among you; for all those abhorrent things were done by the people who were in the land before and the land became defiled. So let not the land vomit you out for defiling it, as it spewed out the nation that came before you." (Lev. 18:26-28). ... In Torah, we see rain as relationship, an earth woven with ethic. Blessing is felt through pastoral plentitude, punishment through agricultural atrophy.
In the heart of Parashat K’doshim, we find a recipe for holiness written into behavior. Love your neighbor as yourself, leave gleanings for the poor, care for the stranger, protect the disabled. Many of these ethical epithets form the backbone of moral society, and resonate across religious and national lines. But the above verse feels oddly off: I pause seeing a positive command to rebuke as somehow linked to an absence of heartfelt hate.
In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Tazria, we learn about tza'ra'at, or leprosy. The weekly Mi Shebeirach prayer asks for healing, and we view prayer and visiting as part of the healing process. But is healing the same thing as a physical cure?