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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Month Of Adar

Adar and Joy

The Talmud states that when “the month of Adar begins we increase in joy” because, as Rashi explains, this is the beginning of a season of miracles and salvation marked by Purim and Pesach.  And this joy is not just a remembrance of times past, it is rather a current celebration of miracles and salvation.  One reason for this is that Jewish tradition views time as a spiral, not as ...

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