Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Emor Learn to Live!

For a seven day period you shall live in Sukkot (“booths”). Every resident among the Jews shall live in Sukkot. (Leviticus 23:42) The Torah instructs us to live in a Sukkah for seven days. We eat, sleep, and relax there as we would in our own homes. It isn’t difficult for most people to build […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Kedoshim (Leviticus 19-20)

An urban legend claims that someone with a tattoo cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery. I don’t know the source of this incorrect myth but Jewish mothers for decades have successfully used it to prevent their teenage sons/daughter’s from getting tattoos. Even though it won’t disqualify a corpse from burial in the Jewish cemetery, […]

The Final Two Days of Passover Born Free? Live Free

The main idea of Passover is not merely abstaining from bread, cake, crackers, and other leavened products, it is to identify with the theme of the holiday. Freedom is what we focus on during Passover. We were freed from the Egyptians, as we say in the Haggadah, Had not the Holy One taken our ancestors […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha:Metzora (Leviticus 14-15)

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha:Metzora (Leviticus 14-15) Critical Conversations Part II: The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself Before Speaking This week’s Parsha continues discussing the harmful effects of lashon hara, senseless negative speech. Many people don’t take speech seriously; they freely speak about others without regard for their feelings or the potential damage it can […]

Rabbi O’s Parsha Page: Shmini (Leviticus 9-11)

Refrigeration and Kosher Food: Rite or Right This week’s Parsha talks about kosher food and discusses the signs and details that render an animal, bird, or fish kosher. Being as so many people think that these laws stem from a lack of refrigeration and other considerations due to the limitations of the ancient world, we […]

Rabbi O’s Weekly Parsha: Pekudei (Exodus 38:21-40:38

Flipping the Switch And they brought the Mishkan to Moses…(ibid. 39:33) When all of the various parts of the Mishkan (portable “Temple” in the desert) had been fashioned, they were brought to Moses, who actually stood the walls up and erected them. The commentary of Rashi explains that because of the massive weight of the […]

Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20-30:10) Diamond in the rough

You shall place both stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, remembrance stones for the Children of Israel. (Exodus 28:12) Moses was commanded to make garments for the Cohen Gadol-‘high priest’. Included in these was a piece of clothing similar to an apron called the ephod. It had two shoulder straps and held precious […]

Are You a Freed Slave or A Free Person

Enjoy Rabbi Oppenheim’s insights into Passover aspects Weekly Torah Reading: Metzora (Leviticus 14-15) (Being as Passover is a bit more than ten days away, we will discuss different aspects of Passover for the next two weeks) Are You a Freed Slave or A Free Person Anyone who has attended even one Passover Seder knows how […]