Shabbat Tazria/HaHodesh 5774: Born Again

One winter night some years ago I crossed the parking lot of Providence Hospital in Southfield, MI. Looking up, I saw a great cloud of steam rising from the heat grates, dramatically lit by floodlights mounted on the hospital roof. This dynamic swirling above the hospital, combined perhaps with the heaviness I felt in visiting…

Shmini/Parah 5774: Sacred BBQ

Spring has arrived, and with it the smell of sacred BBQ. I don’t mean that literally, especially with so many vegetarians in our community, but the confluence of Parshat Shmini and Shabbat Parah means that there is a great deal of attention paid to the selection, slaughter, sacrifice and eating of animals. Chapter 11 of…

Vayikra 5774: The Eyes of the Community

Can you imagine what it would look like if the Jewish people took collective responsibility for creating a righteous and just society? If instead of a squabbling and loosely organized confederation of miniature camps, we had a truly representative Jewish leadership that held itself accountable to the people and to God? I confess that it is hard to imagine such…