Struggling to Celebrate

Struggling to Celebrate

Apr 30, 2021 By Naomi Kalish | Commentary | Emor

While Parashat Emor contains one of the Torah’s discussions of holidays and instructions for their observances, rabbinic literature provides guidance for their observance in the context of the complexities of the participants’ lives, even those who might be struggling to celebrate.

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The Wholeness of a Broken Tablet

The Wholeness of a Broken Tablet

Jul 31, 2020 By Naomi Kalish | Commentary | Va'et-hannan | Tishah Be'av

Parashat Va’et-hannan (Deut. 3–7) is always read on Shabbat Nahamu—the “Shabbat of Comfort”—which falls immediately after Tishah Be’av, the day when we commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples. It receives its name from the opening line of the Haftarah: “Comfort, comfort, my people” (Isaiah 40:1).

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A Family Reconciles

A Family Reconciles

Nov 22, 2019 By Naomi Kalish | Commentary | Hayyei Sarah

Parashat Hayyei Sarah is bookended with the accounts of the deaths of the two first Jews, Sarah and Abraham. The early part of the text spends much time describing the process by which Abraham secured land for Sarah’s burial and then buried her. At the end of the parashah, we learn that Isaac and Ishmael buried their father Abraham together. Though the Torah describes these brothers’ unity in concise and matter-of-fact language, they and their extended family must have worked hard to achieve reconciliation.

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