Kedoshim: Gleanings From Our Own Blessings

Though it may be hard to see at times, we all have abundant blessings, and even a surplus, if only we could notice it. By Judith Greenberg It’s easy to look up the street and see that the grass is a little greener at a neighbor’s. Maybe they have a new car or their kids […]

Acharei Mot: A Hot Mess? (video)

Pesach Day 1—Shabbat, April 20, 2019—15 Nisan 5779

Pesach Day 1—Shabbat, April 20, 2019—15 Nisan 5779 Scene: Land of Goshen, the Israelite Neighborhood of Egypt. Moses is examining every dwelling to make certain that all is in keeping with the LORD’s commands. He is accompanied by one Lieutenant Djer, of the Royal Egyptian Cavalry, “Vision of Ibis” Regiment, Commanding. Moses is hale and […]

Metzora: The Leper Recovered

Torah Portion Metzora: The Leper Recovered by Rabbi David Hartley Mark This is the man Who may have been a leper. These are the living birds, all pure, Brought by the man Who may have been a leper. This is the wood From a cedar green, Two living birds With feathered sheen Brought by the […]

Tazriah: A Penalty for Unclean Men

Parshat Tazriah: A Penalty for Unclean Men by Rabbi David Hartley Mark “The LORD spoke to Moses…’Speak to the Israelite people thus: When a woman bears a child, she shall be tamei/unclean for seven days; she shall be as unclean as at her Time of the Month.” –Lev. 12:1-2             Rather, had the Lord spoke […]

Shabbat Parah Adumah—Sabbath of the Red Heifer

Shabbat Parah Adumah—Sabbath of the Red Heifer Parshat Shemini March 30, 2019—23 Adar II, 5779 by Rabbi David Hartley Mark             I am the Red Heifer. Without my sacrifice, there can be no Pesach, no Seder, no Prayer for Dew (Tal); not even those matzo balls in chicken soup of which Jews (and gentiles) are […]

Tzav: The Battle of the Sea of Reeds

The Sinai Desert was still pitchy-black when Lt. Djer’s adjutant, Corporal Tem, shook his commander’s shoulder to awaken him. The lieutenant immediately arose—his training at the Royal Egyptian Army Military Academy (Heliopolis) stood him in good stead. He sat on the edge of his cot, blinking and collecting his thoughts. “The Lieutenant sleeps with one […]

Shabbat Zachor: Amalekites, Egyptians, and a Promise

Shabbat Zachor: Amalekites, Egyptians, and a Promise by Rabbi David Hartley Mark The Sinai Desert was still pitchy-black when Lt. Djer’s adjutant, Corporal Tem, shook his commander’s shoulder to awaken him. The lieutenant immediately arose—his training at the Royal Egyptian Army Military Academy (Heliopolis) stood him in good stead. He sat on the edge of […]

Haftorat Pekuday: The Report of Hiram, King of Tyre

(Please note: this week’s drash covers the haftorah for Parshat Pekudei — I Kings 7:51-8:21.) Haftorat Pekuday: The Report of Hiram, King of Tyre by Rabbi David Hartley Mark I, Hiram, was king of Tyre, back around—oh, 1,000 BCE in your reckoning. King Solomon of Israel was my liege lord—your Scriptures may state he was […]

Vayakhel: Putting God into a Box

Vayakhel: Putting God into a Box by Rabbi David Hartley Mark (Scene: An open, bare field in the middle of the Israelite Camp, blocked off from the rest of the camp by an elaborate fence, consisting of wooden pillars fitted into brass sockets, ringed and crowned with silver hooks. These hold white linen sheet-curtains, designed […]