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Righting a World Turned Upside Down

Purim 2020 was the last in-person event celebrated by many Jewish communities around the country before the COVID-19 shutdown. Little did we understand that the essential psychological principle of Purim of hafichut – the reversibility of our world – would come to mean something even more profound than what we

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A D’var Torah for Tetzaveh

This Torah portion consists of the ordination of Aaron and his descendants as priests, vast descriptions of the vestments that the priest should wear, and the law of the half-shekel temple tax. This segment was probably rewritten in King Josiah’s time, and again during the exile, and again upon the

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The Dress of the High Priest

Just weeks after the dramatic exodus from Egypt/Mitzraim, we find ourselves in the midst of a fashioning of luxurious garments to dress the High Priest, literally, from head to toe—or at least ankle. These are luxurious robes and headdresses, covered with jewels and fine threads. We learn about them in

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Why Moses Did Not Become A Priest

This week’s parashah, Tetzaveh, begins with God commanding Moses “And as for you, you shall instruct the Israelites to bring you pure olive oil of beaten olives for lighting, for kindling the Eternal Lamp (Exodus 27:20).” At first glance it does not appear that there is anything unusual or extraordinary

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On Holding High Jewish Office: Do Clothes Make the Man?

What does the well-dressed Cohen Gadol (High Priest) look like? Quite resplendent, according to this week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh. Bearing on his chest the hoshen mishpat (breastplate of judgment) with twelve different minerals, each representing a different one of the tribes of Israel, the high priest is the living embodiment

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