In Memory of Sylvia Ettenberg

In Memory of Sylvia Ettenberg

Jun 30, 2012 By Abigail Treu | Commentary | Text Study | Hukkat

The week we read of the passing of Miriam is the week that our community mourns—among others—Sylvia Ettenberg, dean emerita at JTS for more than half a century.

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Moses’s Misstep: Words Not Deeds

Moses’s Misstep: Words Not Deeds

Jun 27, 2014 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Hukkat

With the loss of both Miriam and Aaron, Parashat Hukkat marks a liminal and tragic point in the Israelite wanderings toward the Land of Israel.

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The Butchers

The Butchers

Jun 26, 2015 By Alan Mintz (<em>z”l</em>) | Commentary | Hukkat

The ritual of the red heifer (Num. 19) has always fascinated readers. Not only is it elaborate and mysterious, it is also based on a rarity: a red cow. The paradoxes and power of this passage attracted the attention of modern Hebrew writers. Set in Eastern Europe, “The Red Heifer” tells the story of butchers who steal a beautiful and vigorous cow, butcher it without a shoḥet (a ritual slaughterer), and sell the meat as kosher. The centerpiece of the story is a gruesome, blow-by-blow description of the slaughter, the great animal quivering and gushing blood.

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The Perils of Leadership

The Perils of Leadership

Jul 2, 2011 By David Hoffman | Commentary | Hukkat

Great leadership is about successfully orchestrating change. Whether within organizations, communities, or other social systems, leadership involves developing a vision of the future and implementing strategies to achieve this vision. Exercising leadership means motivating and inspiring people to change habits, attitudes, and values that hold them back from reaching their goals. 

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No Single Solution

No Single Solution

Jun 12, 2013 By Matthew Berkowitz | Commentary | Hukkat

At its essence, Parashat Hukkat brims with questions and mystery.

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The Blessing of a Sister

The Blessing of a Sister

Jun 27, 2014 By Julia Andelman | Commentary | Hukkat

Among the many momentous events that occur in this week’s short but action-packed parashah, we read of the deaths of both of Moses’s siblings, Miriam and Aaron.

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Miriam’s Legacy of Leadership

Miriam’s Legacy of Leadership

Jun 12, 2013 By Shira D. Epstein | Commentary | Hukkat

If you were asked to rapidly rattle off the top three iconic biblical leaders, which would you name? There is a high probability that Moses would appear on the list or, possibly, Aaron or Abraham. Even if valued, Miriam most likely would not make the cut.

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Modeling Ritual

Modeling Ritual

Jun 26, 2015 By Mitchell Cohen | Commentary | Hukkat

Recently I visited a group of Ramah teens on their one-week Poland experience, just prior to their summer trip to Israel. While visiting Jewish cemeteries in Krakow, I stood to the side and did not enter the area of the graves. Two of our teen participants, also both kohanim, asked me why I wouldn’t enter the cemetery, and I told them about the traditional prohibition of kohanim coming within six feet of a grave. Both decided to adopt this custom—at least for the days we were together—and both told me that even though they couldn’t explain why, it just felt right.

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