Eat, Drink and Be Merry – We Almost Died

As we approach Purim, I cannot resist talking about this beautiful festival.  It is one of two festivals of the winter, Chanukah and Purim.  While the events of Chanukah were principally a threat to our spiritual survival, Purim recalls a threat to the physical existence of the Jewish people.  Haman attempted to physically destroy every Jewish man, woman and child.  We celebrate our deliverance from this threat with mitzvot that ...

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Confusion and Clarity

This week we will be reading an additional section of the Torah that discusses the process of purifying one who became impure by contact with the dead.  Let us consider the meaning of the concepts of purity and impurity in the Torah.  The Hebrew word for impurity is tumah, which is related to the word timtum, confusion. Every time a person has an experience that appears to demonstrate that we ...

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Night and Day

Daylight saving time has recently begun here in the USA. So it has got me thinking about day and night and their significance in Jewish thought.  We know that in secular law, the calendar day starts and ends at midnight, however, in Jewish tradition the day starts the evening beforehand. So for example, Shabbat, starts Friday evening around sunset and it ends on Saturday night when the stars come out. ...

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