Weekly Torah Portion

Lately, it seems that a week doesn’t go by without my reading or hearing something about the supposed clash between Jewish and western values. One of the key elements of this conversation revolves around the claim that western values - in fact, the entire western discourse - are couched in terms of “rights”, whereas the Jewish tradition is all about “obligations”, while the notion of the rights of individuals or groups is basically non-existent in traditional Jewish thought. 


Previous Torah Portions

Parshat Ki Tissa contains the sin of the golden calf. The story of that sin presents a pretty simple question: if the people of Israel were so freaked out by Moshe’s failure to return on time from his receiving the Torah on Mt. Sinai, and really thought that he was not coming back, why did they not simply ask his brother, Aharon, the high priest, to take over?
It has become a cliché that we are facing a leadership crisis. In politics and statecraft, culture and religion, there seems to be a lack of great leadership. Instead, what we see is a yearning for strong, emphatic, infallible leaders, who will take care of everything for us, and who, sooner or later, let us down.
The treatment of the stranger, the foreigner, the immigrant, is right at the top of the list of hot issues being debated today. All over the world, migrants are being singled out as a problem, a danger, a threat, and as not deserving of the treatment we reserve for full, native citizens.

Jewish Holidays

Hanukkah: Greek, or Jewish? Who are we Really?

On Hanukkah, one of the conversations that often takes place is the “today, are we more like the Maccabees, or more like the Hellenists?” one.

Jewish Life Cycle

One of the most important mitzvoth in the Torah is called the מת מצוה (met mitzvah) – a deceased person whom it is a commandment to bury.

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Every week, parshaoftheweek.com brings you a rich selection of material on parshat hashavua, the weekly portion traditionally read in synagogues all over the world. Using both classic and contemporary material, we take a look at these portions in a fresh way, relating them to both ancient Jewish concerns as well as cutting-edge modern issues and topics. We also bring you material on the Jewish holidays, as well as insights into life cycle rituals and events...

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