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CFOIC provided this photo of a young Jewish couple getting married at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Weekly Torah Portion: Purity in the Land

Chapter 18 of Leviticus is seemingly a list of dos and don'ts, not unlike many of the rules of purity and impurity listed throughout Leviticus. But at closer examination, there is something different about the instructions listed here. The chapter begins with the verse: "You…

Weekly Torah Portion: Hold Your Tongue!

This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest. (Leviticus 14:2) So begins a detailed description of the rituals involved with purifying someone who has been afflicted with Biblical Leprosy. The original…

Weekly Torah Portion: Purity and Impurity, Life and Death

This week's portion continues the discussion of ritual purity. In last week's portion, the instructions regarding purity revolved around various animals that are considered pure or impure. Those animals which are impure may never be eaten nor used for sacrifice. In this week's portion, however,…

Weekly Torah Portion: Everyone Makes Mistakes

The Book of Leviticus is dedicated primarily to instructing us in the various sacrifices that are brought in the Tabernacle and, later on, in the Temple, as well as other instructions pertaining to the work of the priests and the Levites. Chapter 4 begins with…

Weekly Torah Portion: God is a Gracious Host

The closing chapters of the Book of Exodus complete the section that deals with the construction of the Tabernacle.  The last verses are particularly interesting.   Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. And Moses…

Weekly Torah Portion: A Generous Heart

This week’s Torah portion opens with Moses’ instruction to the Children of Israel to donate items for the construction of the Tabernacle and its various vessels.  It echoes the very similar commandment that God gave to Moses in Chapter 25.  It would seem, therefore, that…

Weekly Torah Portion: A Man, not a Superhero

This week’s portion begins with the commandment to conduct a census among the Children of Israel through the donation of a half shekel.  Other commandments follow, but the focus of the portion is the story of the Golden Calf.   It has long puzzled commentators…
Miriam Shechter took this shot of Simchat Torah dancing with the Torah scrolls which is similar to the dancing at a Jewish wedding to emphasize a main theme of the holiday, that our relationship with God is comparable to the relationship between a husband and wife. We are married to God and to His holy Torah.

Weekly Torah Portion: A Meeting with God

This week's portion begins with the end of Exodus Chapter 27 and includes the instructions for Aaron and the priests in their worship roles -- their clothes, the sanctification process they will go through, and some instruction regarding the altar, the incense altar and the "tent…

Weekly Torah Portion: God and Israel at War

This week’s Torah portion begins with the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt and ends with the war against Amalek.  And war is a theme that runs through this week’s portion in a very interesting way.  The portion begins with an explanation of…

Weekly Torah Portion: A New Month

This week's Torah portion includes the final three plagues and the beginning of the Exodus. It also includes the instructions for the celebration of the Passover holiday and the procedure for the sacrifice of the lamb. The chapter which includes these instructions, Chapter 12, begins…