Guns and Moses: Shabbat HaGadol 5778

Americans have become desensitized to the phenomenon of gun violence and explosives that can suddenly and indiscriminately mar and destroy innocent life. Somehow mass murder has come to seem normal, and our political class is quick to rehearse the same tired lines about thoughts and prayers for the victims, denunciation of the perpetrators, and claims…

From Mishkan to Mitzvah: Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778

There are many shiny objects in the double reading which draws the book of Exodus to its dramatic conclusion. Ancient images of silver, gold and copper flash in the mind’s eye, gemstones sparkle in the breastplate of the high priest, and fine fabrics of blue, purple, crimson and linen adorn the coverings of the tabernacle…

Purim 5778: On Kashering Hands for Pesah

A beraita quoted in b. Pesahim (6a) states that one must commence study of the laws of Pesah 30 days before the holiday; the practice as codified in the Shulhan Arukh (OH 429:1), and the Mishnah B’rurah (SK 2) is that study should begin on Purim itself. In order to safeguard JTS’s reputation as a…