Yom Kippur
Jonah: What a Storm Can Teach You About Repentance

Jonah: What a Storm Can Teach You About Repentance

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the day we spend fasting and praying for repentance, is always rough for me. Fasting means no coffee. Last year, I dragged myself out of bed and prepared myself to go to synagogue....

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The High Holidays: Everyone’s Holiday

The High Holidays: Everyone’s Holiday

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz When I think about the High Holidays, I picture synagogues full of Jews, the men wrapped in snow-white prayer shawls swaying silently, the women praying fervently. They are Jewish holidays and the pinnacle of the...

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Is Fallible Man the Best Beneficiary of the Torah?

Is Fallible Man the Best Beneficiary of the Torah?

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz My teenage son came to me on the Sabbath with a real dilemma: “Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is impossible,” he said. I understood him and, to be honest, a large part of his dilemma came from listening to me. Yom...

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The Month of Return

The Month of Return

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz Anticipation and preparation are two words I have always had difficulty with. In Yeshiva (Jewish school for Torah learning), my rabbi called me "do-ish." I have a tendency to jump right in and figure things out...

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The Yom Kippur Temple Service

The Yom Kippur Temple Service

The Torah portion of Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16-18) describes the Temple service on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  The Bible mandates 15 specific sacrifices and many other rituals for Yom Kippur, or Yom HaKippurim, outlined in...

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The Portion of Pinchas

The Portion of Pinchas

Our portion picks up where last week’s left off, in the aftermath of a plague. Phineas is blessed by God for his actions and a new census of the people is taken. The brotherless daughters of Zelophehad appeal to Moses for a share in the...

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The Portion of Emor

The Portion of Emor

The portion of Emor continues many of the same themes found thus far in the book of Leviticus. It expands upon the laws of the priest which set him apart from the rest of the community, as well as those that apply only to the High Priest....

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The Portion of Acharei Mot

The Portion of Acharei Mot

The portion of Acharei Mot picks up following the deaths of Aaron’s older sons, Nadab and Abihu. It contains the instructions for the Yom Kippur -- or Day of Atonement -- service in the Tabernacle, and forbids slaughtering animal...

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