Does being a person of faith mean you believe in blessings and curses? Why should we always "do the right thing?" Are we rewarded or punished for what we do in the world?
Like our ancestors, we focus on our own modern day tribes: The tribes of the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and secular. Amidst our real differences, can we sew ourselves together into a larger identity of being Am Yisrael – one people?
Do we do things because they bring us meaning, or do things have meaning because we do them? Can your morning yoga class or walk through the park serve as a source of spiritual inspiration?
Even with good intentions, when we talk about people who are not present, we run the risk of disparaging them, without giving them the opportunity to respond.
Parashat Tzav opens with a command to Aaron, the high priest. It’s a moment to think about leadership – who are our leaders and what do they do? Are our leaders born into the role, like Aaron, or are they called to leadership, like Moses?
In this special Passover episode of On the Other Hand, Rabbi Jacobs discusses empathy. The story of Passover asks that we put ourselves in the shoes of those who escaped slavery and travelled to freedom, and that we think about what it’s like to have nothing.
Parashiyot Tazria and M’tzora are perhaps the most nerve inducing parashiyot in many Jewish circles, and it makes sense—most people aren’t typically eager to discuss leprosy.
In this infamous parashah, Korach, a relative of Moses, argues with Moses, wondering why he can’t be the leader of the Israelites instead. Disagreement can be sacred in the Jewish tradition, but when does that disagreement become self-serving?