Rabbi Wise’s Weekly Shabbat Message

  • Shabbat Beha’alotekha 5783
    Do you remember the last Jewish holiday we observed? It wasn’t that long ago that we celebrated Shavu’ot, but maybe it feels like it was ages ago. That’s because we tend to look forward, not behind us. It’s an occupational hazard for Jewish professionals in that the moment we finish one special event, we are ...
  • Shabbat Bemidbar 5783
    It may well be that the only reason I got into the college program of my choice was because of the phenomenon of “rounding up.” Though my grades may have come up a few percentage points short of the score I needed, I suspect my teachers gave me a boost. Having been a teacher myself, ...
  • Shabbat Behar-Behukotai 5783
    The covenant of Sinai, of which we haven’t heard much since the Book of Exodus, is revisited in Parshat Behar, the first of our two Torah portions this Shabbat. We read of the laws of Shemittah, or as the sabbatical year is called in this part of the Torah, “Shabbat Ha-aretz,” the Sabbath of the Land. Included in ...
  • Shabbat Emor 5783
    Every Pesah, I hear this refrain from at least a couple of people: “Oh, I like matzah. I eat it all year round.” For those who enjoy matzah “off-season,” Friday is good news. It’s Pesah Sheini, the make-up Passover that the Torah ordains for those who were ritually ineligible to observe the Pesah sacrifice at its proper time. Some people observe the ...
  • Shabbat Tazria’-Metzora’
    Much of the content of this week’s two Torah portions, Tazria’ and Metzora’, address how the priesthood was to deal with people afflicted with skin ailments. But it’s not just a training manual for kohanim. It also includes guidance for the one who is afflicted and affected. See, for example, this verse:   “As for the person with a leprous affection: the ...
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