The Sin of Remaining Silent

The Sin of Remaining Silent

Mar 28, 1998 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Vayikra | Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

We don’t admit errors easily. There is probably nothing more difficult for us to say than “I’m sorry.” Each time we bring ourselves to do it, we acknowledge that we are less than perfect and far from infallible. Resistance wells up from the very depth of our being. How often have we been scene to the following Nietzschian dialogue: “‘I have done that?’ asks my memory. ‘I cannot have done that,’ says my pride and remains inexorable. Eventually memory yields.” Without a measure of self-awareness and courage, truth invariably falls prey to our psychological needs.

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Life’s Cycles

Life’s Cycles

Jan 31, 2004 By Melissa Crespy | Commentary | Bo | Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

In the midst of recounting the horrifying last three plagues in Egypt, God tells Moses and Aaron: “This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:2) As the Etz Hayim Humash remarks: “A slave does not control his or her own time; it belongs to someone else.” (p. 380). One of the first steps in the liberation of the Israelites, then, was for them to have their own calendar – to measure their lives and their holy moments in their own way, not at the dictates of others.

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A Holy Inventory

A Holy Inventory

Mar 20, 2004 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Pekudei | Vayak-hel | Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

In the ever-fertile imagination of the Rabbis there are no arid texts. The most prosaic can readily become the occasion for an insight of great consequence. By way of example, I will focus on a narrative fragment tucked away in the middle of the lists that make up the bulk of the final two parashot of Exodus. The lesson derived from it is one that has lost none of its moral force.

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Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

Jan 1, 1980

9 On the sabbath day: two yearling lambs without blemish, together with two-tenths of a measure of choice flour with oil mixed in as a meal offering, and with the proper libation — 10 a burnt offering for every sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its libation.

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Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

Jan 1, 1980

1 Thus said the Lord:
The heaven is My throne
And the earth is My footstool:
Where could you build a house for Me,
What place could serve as My abode?

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