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Denial and the demonic

Denial and the demonic

On its face, this portion is Leviticus at its most inaccessible. Ugly lesions and discolorations appear on a person’s body. The victim turns to the priest. Based on the criteria laid down in last week’s portion, the priest knows whether this disfigurement is a sign of disease, requiring medical treatment, or a sign of ritual impurity. If the latter, the priest banishes the victim from all contact with society.

Depending on various changes in the victim’s physical condition, he remains in enforced isolation for up to two weeks. Then he goes through a mortifying purification ritual. Finally, he is is readmitted to society.

What can this possibly mean?

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Conservative Lens

Judaism, Christianity, environmentalism

AS I have often noted, the most dynamic and influential religion of the past hundred years has not been Christianity, let alone Judaism, the two religions that created the Western world. Nor has it been Islam. It has been leftism. Leftism has influenced the literary, academic, media and, therefore, the political elite far more than any other religion. It has taken over Western schools from elementary through graduate. For most of that time, various incarnations of Marxism have been the dominan...
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View from Central Park

Foods from generation to generation

I confess: Come the holidays, and I am definitely a sentimental cook and eater. Proust’s famous tea-soaked madeleine that arrested time, transporting him to his childhood. That’s me. Granted, when it comes to matzah, it might be a bit tough. The original food-evoking item might actually need to have a flavor in the first place in order to evoke one a generation later, but let’s just chalk matzah up as an exception. It might not be madeleines, but for each of us there is a food or two who...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:57 )

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View from Central Park

One day at a time

One day at a timeI RECEIVED a very touching, very moving children’s book in the mail last week. Painfully, it is a book I wish the need for did not exist. It is called, The Cancer That Wouldn't Go Away: A Story for Kids about Metastatic Cancer, by Hadassa Field, illustrated by Christina G. Smith. As the title suggests, it is a book geared to helping children cope with the profound psychological effects of their changed life under the impact of the serious illness of a parent. It is unlike other children’s ...

Last Updated ( Friday, 28 March 2014 06:03 )

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Reflections

The day my mother stopped playing G-d

“MY dear friend Helene died last week,” my mother informed me sadly as if consoling us both. “I’ll miss her terribly. She really changed my life and the way I viewed the world.” I turned and looked into my mother’s face, aged not so much by years as by the losses and disappointments she has endured. She is not prone to “waxing philosophical” so her statement intrigued me. “What do you mean, mom?” I asked, quietly taking her hand. “Do you remember when you told me that yo...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Despite passionate reactions, EU ruling on Hamas is a small legal glitch

Cnaan Liphshiz Hamas is no longer on the EU terror list, but that’s more for procedural than ideological reasons. And it will likely be reinstated soon. ... [Link]

Dieudonne seeks accord with France’s Jewish community

Cnaan Liphshiz The French comedian, following years of punitive measures for inciting racial hatred against Jews, says he wants to meet with French Jewish leaders and “move forward.” ... [Link]

European Parliament passes resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood

Cnaan Liphshiz The nonbinding measure says recognition should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks with Israel. ... [Link]

Alan Gross released amid U.S.-Cuba rapprochement

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration insisted the agreement to release Gross is technically separate from sweeping changes in policy toward the island nation, including a return to full diplomatic relations. ... [Link]

Australian commission to probe how Chabad handled abuse claims

Ron Kampeas Some of Australia’s most senior Orthodox rabbis have already been subpoenaed to supply documents ahead of the hearing starting Feb. 2 in Melbourne. ... [Link]

Kerry: Talk of U.N. statehood recognition for Palestinians ‘premature’

Ron Kampeas Palestinian officials said they hoped to advance a statehood recognition resolution this week through the Security Council. ... [Link]

Lee Zeldin, lone Jewish GOPer in Congress, wins spot on foreign affairs panel

Ron Kampeas The newly elected congressman from New York won a coveted spot on the House Foreign Affairs Committee — a rarity for a freshman lawmaker. ... [Link]

Congress passes act liberalizing assistance for disabled

Ron Kampeas Congress passed legislation that would liberalize rules for government assistance for the disabled, a key lobbying issue for major Jewish groups. ... [Link]

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