Parashat Metzora, the skin disease leprosy is not treated as a sin, but rather as an example of impurity which has to be treated, fought against and repaired. What does this teach us about how we approach illness and suffering
Noting the verb roots of the verse, Eitan Cooper, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Schechter Institutes calls attention to a Talmudic debate between Rabbi Shmuel bar Nachmani and Resh Lakish on how men and women were created. This debate shows how even the ancient scholars engaged in debates on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Parashat Shemini: “Vayidom Aharon.” Aaron was silent, says the text. Was it shocked silence? Perhaps. Or, perhaps, it was silence which results from the depth of one’s emotions, too overwhelming to express in words?
We are blessed to be living in a time where an overwhelming number of Jews are able to celebrate Jewish holidays proudly and openly. Professor Renée Levine Melammed takes us back to Spain post-1492, and looks at how the Crypto-Jews there celebrated the Jewish holidays.
The 13th annual conference was held on Thursday, March 14, 2019, with the generous support of Professor Alice Shalvi, former Rector and Acting President of Schechter. Among the speakers were women leading the successful effort to pass a law that incriminates consumers of prostitution. The law was passed at the end of 2018, shortly before the upcoming elections to the Knesset were declared. The new law will come into force within 16 months, together with a rehabilitation program for women involved in prostitution, and will impose fines on consumers. Israel is the eighth country in the world to legislate such a law.
On Purim, we are rightly appalled by the fact that Haman wanted to destroy the Jewish people. Yet we seldom notice that we were commanded to do the very same thing to Haman’s people, to Amalek, in Exodus 17, which we read on Purim morning, and Deutoronomy 25, which we read on Shabbat Zakhor.
Dr. Tamar Kadari, Dean of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies and lecturer for Midrash and Aggadah, grounds the often inaccessible stories of sacrifice in reality. She tells an insightful story of when King Agrippa demanded to have exclusive rights to bring sacrifices to God at the Temple.
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Professor. Renee Levine Melammed shares with us the powerful story of influential Jewish women during the Middle Ages.
Dr. Einat Ramon, Senior Lecturer in Jewish Thought and founder of the Marpeh pastoral care program, discusses the complicated relationship in Parashat Pekuidei between physical esthetics and spiritual sanctity.