Parshat Chukkat introduces us to the Red Heifer ritual, by which tumat met (the ‘impurity’ of death) is neutralised, or purified, when the Israelite who has been in contact with death is sprinkled with hyssop which has been dipped in water mixed with ash from a perfectly red heifer, without blemish, burned by the […]
There are no cats in America and the streets are made of cheese!”
In one of my favourite childhood movies, a gang of mice pranced about the film screen singing these words. There are no cats in America and the streets are made of cheese.
In An American Tail, the protagonist is a seven-year-old Jewish mouse […]
For a long, long time, a story of the Baal Shem Tov has been told. He is supposed to have been a great sage who lived in the Carpathians, in Podolia in the 18th century. He is credited by stories with all sorts of miracles but above all with great wisdom.
It is therefore said […]
Parashat Naso: Listening for God’s Voice
When Moses went into the Tent of Meeting to speak with [God], he would hear the Voice addressing him from above the cover that was on top of the Ark of the Pact between the two cherubim; thus [God] spoke to him. (Numbers 7:89)
In this verse from our […]
Numbering with Care: The Loving Arithmetic of BeMidbar
This week, we begin a new book of Torah: BeMidbar (“in the desert”) in Hebrew and Numbers in English. Our parashah shares its name with the book, and it does what it says on the tin: We are in the desert. And there are numbers. Lots and […]
A Kept Land, A Kept People
This week’s Torah portion is B’chukotai, which means ‘my statutes,’ and tells of the rich blessings that will be bestowed on the Israelites if they are true to God and God’s ways.
This Torah portion also contains the infamous Tocheichah, a lengthy section of text detailing the horrific consequences […]
Jewish time is a little bit different to non-Jewish time, and no, this is not a joke about lateness and synagogue attendance! Jewish cycles of time have a different rhythm and balance to the Gregorian cycle of time that we use in the wider society today.
One of our cycles of time is based on […]