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Rabbi Spitz’s Blog (Page 9)

Passover Resources from Rabbi Spitz

Dear Friends, Our Pesech seders are a celebration of our collective identity. The following are some resources to help you prepare and to enrich your gathering of family and friends. 1.The Order of the Haggadah, a Program. When we read through the Haggadah its structure is unclear, which is ironic since the word “seder” means…

Torah: Shabbat HaGadol

Torah: This Shabbat, the last before Pesech, is called “Shabbat HaGadol,” the great Sabbath. The title is taken from the haftorah of the prophet Malachi, who states that the prophet Elijah will herald the final “great day of the Lord,” a day of judgment that will lead to the Messianic Era. We are a Messiah obsessed people. Each time that we pray the amidah prayer,…

Torah: Tazria

Torah: “As for the person with a leprous affection, his clothes shall be rent, his head shall be left bare, and he shall cover over his upper lip; and he shall call out, ‘Impure, Impure’” (Leviticus 13:45). Our Torah reading this week and next, describe a medical malady. The word tzara’at is often translated as leprosy, but is not what medicine today…

Torah: Tzav

A short Torah teaching: This week’s Torah reading is from Tzav, the second parashah of Leviticus. The word Tzav  in the Bible means command. It is the root of the word mitzvah. In Yiddish, mitzvah (and I hear myself saying the word with a Yiddish accent) conveys “a good deed.” And yet, when we do an act of goodness as a duty, we are more prone to repeat that act than…

Torah: Vayikra

Vayikra. This Shabbat we begin the third book of the Torah. In rabbinic times, the first centuries of the Common Era, children began their Torah study with Leviticus. Rabbi Issi explained: “Sacrifices are pure and children are pure; let the pure come and engage in the pure” (Vayikra Rabbah 7:3). A couple of readings from my classmates…

Just Back From Israel- Some Reflections

Linda and I spent twelve days in Israel. We combined participation on a biennial Rabbinic Mission of Israel Bonds and visits with our daughter, Anna, who is spending a semester at Tel Aviv University. The following are some brief observations. Daily life: In the NYTimes this morning, there is only one report on Israel: two…