Emor by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Emor: The Blasphemer Speaks by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   “A certain man came out among the Israelites, one whose mother was Israelite and whose father was Egyptian. And the man fought with another man in the camp, who was pure Israelite. The half-breed cursed, using the Name of GOD blasphemously. They brought him before […]

Acharay-Kedoshim by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Acharay-Kedoshim: The Scapegoat’s Testimony by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Call me Azazel, the Scapegoat. When my Brother Goat and I were chosen and brought forth as sacrifices—he to serve as a burnt-offering, and I—well, I will tell you of my fate—I thought little of it. We goats are not deep thinkers, and sufferance is […]

Tazria-Metzora by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Tazria-Metzora By Rabbi David Hartley Mark   I am Kevudah, the “honored one,” wife of Eleazar, Aaron’s third son—but his eldest, now that Nadav and Avihu are dead, killed by the hand of God—the flames of God, I mean. They offered “strange fire”—some mistake in preparing the incense, we believe, as well as guilty of […]

Shemini by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Shemini by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   I am Tsilya, daughter of Yitzhar, wife of Aaron, the High Priest, mother of my Lost Boys, Nadav and Avihu. You will not read my name in the Great Scroll of the Torah-Teaching; no; my name has been lost in darkness, for I spent my days mourning for […]

Pesach Day 8 by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Isaiah, Prophet of Peace Day 8 of Pesach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   It was late, and I had yet to write an article about the Eighth Day of Pesach.The Torah portion was a pastiche of kosher laws, sacrificial directives, and a plea for tzedakah, charity—no unusual insights there. I had to teach in […]

Pesach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Day 1 Pesach 5778: I, Joshua, Conqueror of Canaan by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Scene: A rough-looking tent, much in need of a woman’s gentle touch—and some housekeeping. Scattered about are the accoutrements of a man of war: scuffed and bent short swords, a couple of battered shields of wood with a bronze circlet […]

Tzav by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Tzav: Many Jews, Many Seder Meals by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months….[Each] of the Israelites shall take a lamb to a family….Your lamb shall be without blemish…from the sheep [or] the goats….They […]

Vayikra by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

  Vayikra: The Old Priest and the Pesky Teenager by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   It had been a busy morning. Passover was coming, and folks throughout the village were worried and concerned about their ritual purity, what we call tahara. None but the pure could participate in the Passover Feast, a ritual we had […]

Vayakhel – Pekudei by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Vayakhel: Golden Calf, Golden Shrine   Scene: Sinai Desert, the morning after the orgy of the Golden Calf. The landscape looks desolate and destroyed: scorched earth, shell-holes from arrant lightning bolts sent by an angry LORD GOD, bits of blackened bushes and trees blowing around the landscape, like the macabre remains of a frat party. […]

Ki Tisa by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

KeeTeesa: Metatron, Prince of Angels   “Go now, lead the people where I told you. See, My angel shall go before you.” –God, speaking to Moses (Ex. 32:34)   Welcome, Stranger! I rejoice that your powers of creativity and imagination have enabled you to ascend and enter among us heavenly-folk. It is all very well […]