Parashat Nasso

Numbers 4:21-7:89; Judges 13:2-25; Luke 1:11-20 It's never easy to apologize, but the Torah requires us to confess our sins and then make restitution when we have wronged another. Confession, Repentance, Restitution When we sin against another person, causing them some loss, we must confess the sin, but we must also prove our repentance by making restitution. In most cases our restitution should include a sincere confession and apology to the individual we have wronged. A person must seek his neighbour’s forgiveness before seeking God’s. And he shall make restitution in full for his wrong and add to it one-fifth of it, and give it to him whom he has wronged. But if the man has no relati

Parashat Bamidbar

Numbers 1:1-4:20; Hosea 2:1-22; Romans 9:22-33 The World Was Created for Me A census report makes for difficult reading. Working through the details of tribal and family tallies can be an exercise in monotony, but Rashi found a sweet message about God's love underlying the dry census data. He explained that God enjoyed counting the Israelites because of his special affection for each person. According to his interpretation, the census is a reminder that the children of Israel are not just a collective whole. Israel is a nation composed of individuals. All the people of God are real people. Moses and Aaron counted them according to their "genealogical registration by their families, by their

Parashat Behar/Bechukotai

Leviticus 25:1-26:2; Jeremiah 32:6-27; Luke 4:16-21 Leviticus 26:3-27:34; Jeremiah 16:19-17:14; Luke 18: 31-43 Leviticus 25 deals with a problem that is as acute today as it was 33 centuries ago. It is about the inevitable inequalities that arise in every free market economy. Market economics is good at the creation of wealth but bad at its distribution. Whatever the starting point, inequalities emerge early on between the more and less successful, and they become more pronounced over time.[1] Economic inequality leads to inequality of power, and the result is often the abuse of the weak by the strong. This is a constant refrain of the prophets. Amos speaks of those who “sell the innocent f

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