February 28, 2024 |

Shoshana Michael Zucker


Blessing the bride and groom

When I first looked at Parashat Naso, my first thought was, “Couldn't we have picked a better week?” Naso is not only the longest single Torah reading in the cycle but also one of the most detailed and repetitive. It also contains the only instance in which the written Torah devotes more than a...

Repentance, prayer and tzedakah can avert the evil decree

"The year and its curses has ended." A Sephardic poem sung on Rosh Hashanah Eve repeats this refrain eight times before ending with a glimmer of hope, "May the year and its blessings begin." If we could only close the door and turn the key on everything that happened to the Jewish people and the...

The sun, the moon and Zelophahad's daughters or God intended the world to be egalitarian

A large part of this week's Torah reading is devoted to a description of the sacrifices. Each holiday has its special sacrifice and an additional sin offering. Sometimes this sin offering is referred to simply as a sin offering and sometimes it is referred to as a sin offering to atone for...

Reflecting the rainbow's light back to the heavens

One of the most significant questions that a person has to deal with is the basic nature of human beings: Are they good or bad? When humankind is created, the Torah tells us that people were created in God's image. When we proceed to the portion on Noah, we get a more specific but very...

Isaac remembers his father Abraham

Parashat Vayera 5756 (11/11/95) In memory of PM Yitzchak Rabin and Benjamin Welber. Abraham, my father! Isaac, your son, your only one whom you loved stands before you today, crying and confused. You, who were everything in my life, lie before me now, lifeless and cold. All...

Isaac’s Shofar

<strong>Isaac’s Shofar</strong> “Happy are the people that knows the shofar’s sound, they walk in God’s light.” What does it mean to “know the shofar’s sound? How can we walk in God’s light? What is a worthy life? These are among the questions we face today. In rabbinic literature, the...


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