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Tag Archives: priests

Chukat — Numbers 19:1 – 22:1

“The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the world.” I am often struck by the prescience of 19th-century German sociologist Max Weber, author of the influential The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-05). Notwithstanding the “disenchantment” that ensues in modernity with the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/chukat-numbers-191-221-2/ Continue Reading...

Emor – Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

This week’s reading builds upon last week’s distinction between the Priestly Torah, which focuses on the priestly views of ritual (as distinct from those of the masses), and the Holiness Code, which interweaves the priestly elements of ritual with popular customs. What further distinguishes Chapters 21 and 22 of Leviticus from the rest of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/emor-leviticus-211-2423-2/ Continue Reading...

Shemini – Leviticus 9:1-11:47

You are what you eat, so they say. But more importantly, as Jews, we eat only in the context of creation. In this week’s reading, Shemini, aside from Aaron’s mysterious silence in the face of his sons’ immolation, we are drawn into the distinctions conveyed through our dietary laws. The laws of kashrut are commanded, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shemini-leviticus-91-1147-2/ Continue Reading...

Tetzaveh — Exodus 27:20–30:10

Kenneth Cole, celebrated fashion designer and former congregant of mine in New York, once remarked: “Look good, for good.“ To outfit spiritual change, all priests or kohanim wear: (1) a full- length linen tunic [ketonet]; (2) linen breeches [michnasayim]; (3) a linen headdress, or turban [mitznefet]; and (4) a long, waist sash [avnet]. To manifest […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tetzaveh-exodus-2720-3010-2/ Continue Reading...

Noah Eshaghpour-Silberman’s Bar Mitzvah

Hello! Salam! My name is Noah Eshaghpour-Silberman. On March 11th, I will celebrate the milestone of becoming a bar mitzvah in front of the Beth Sholom community. I am a 7th Grader at Presidio Middle School, and my many interests include cooking, performing, musical theater, fashion, design, and art exhibits. In this week’s Torah portion, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/noah-eshaghpour-silbermans-bar-mitzvah/ Continue Reading...

Chukat — Numbers 19:1 – 22:1

The courageous Somali-born Dutch activist and feminist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (b. 1969), pleads with us to “recognize that we can no longer tolerate violent oppression of women in the name of religion and culture any more than we would tolerate violent oppression espoused by any other bully in the name of a twisted rationale.“ While […] http://bethsholomsf.org/chukat-numbers-191-221/ Continue Reading...

Shemini — Leviticus 9:1 – 11:47

Playwright Harold Pinter (b. 1930) once remarked: “There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.” And yet distinctions are critical to making informed choices. Firstly, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shemini-leviticus-91-1147/ Continue Reading...

Tetzaveh — Exodus 27:20-30:10

When asked about the centrality of clothing in his rock ensemble, Kiss, the Israeli-American musician, singer, and songwriter Chaim Witz (born August 25, 1949, and better known by his stage name, Gene Simmons) once noted that: “The makeup is simply an extension of the personality, and colors, clothing, makeup all express something.” Can this ethos […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tetzaveh-exodus-2720-3010/ Continue Reading...