Archive for category: Leviticus

About Rabbi Reuben

07 Oct
October 7, 2014

Bekhukotai (Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34)

14 May
May 14, 2013

I have had the pleasure and privilege (as you know by now) of serving as the president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California for the past two years representing over 260 Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis in our community. This afternoon I earned the new title of “immediate past president” as Rabbi […]

Behar-Behukotai (Leviticus 25:1-27:34)

07 May
May 7, 2013

Waiting for freedom to come takes many forms. Although it is understandable that when I write about freedom most people may immediately think of traumatic political situations around the globe – the tragedy of Darfur or the long-running struggle for independence from the Chinese that the Dalai Lama and his Tibetan followers have experienced for […]

Behar (Leviticus 25:1-27:34)

01 May
May 1, 2013

I have had the pleasure and privilege (as you know by now) of serving as the president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California for the past two years representing over 260 Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Orthodox rabbis in our community. This afternoon I earned the new title of “immediate past president” as Rabbi […]

Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

28 Mar
March 28, 2013

Sometimes I think that our Biblical ancestors were a lot wiser than we give them credit for. Every year when we get to this particular biblical book filled with graphic descriptions of animal sacrifices and offerings outlining in detail such rituals as the sprinkling of blood on the altar by the priests, along with a […]

Emor 2006 (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

28 Feb
February 28, 2013

“It’s not fair!” I heard a child yelling at his playmate on the synagogue playground the other day. “It’s not fair!” And it reminded me how fundamental our innate sense of fairness and ethics truly is.

Emor 2005 (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

21 Feb
February 21, 2013

There are times in my life when being a rabbi and being a musician come together to create an opportunity to experience holiness in unexpected and profound ways. Such an opportunity came to me last Sunday, when I had the remarkable experience of performing in an interfaith concert with five other musicians and singers at […]

Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

14 Feb
February 14, 2013

What an extraordinary week it was for all of us. Ten different religious institutions joining together to celebrate the values that we cherish and hold in common. A week-long gathering of men, women and children willing to share their most cherished hopes and prayers, wrestle together over what each of us means by respect and […]

Kedoshim (Leviticus 19:1-2 0:27)

07 Feb
February 7, 2013

I had the privilege this evening of speaking at the Hillcrest Country Club to members of the club who had gathered for their annual United Jewish Fund dinner. They gather each year at a formal dinner and make their financial commitments to support the much-needed work of the organized Jewish community of Los Angeles.

Akharay Mot (Leviticus 16:1-20:27)

01 Feb
February 1, 2013

Tears and hope, fears and resolve, profound sadness and fierce determination – that is the mood in Israel this week. How ironic that this week’s double Torah portion is called “Akharay mot/Kedoshim”, which translates as “After death-Holiness.”

Metzorah2 (Leviticus 12:1-13:59)

28 Jan
January 28, 2013

It was one of those difficult weeks where nearly every day I received a phone call about either a sudden death in the community or someone who had just discovered one form of cancer or another and was struggling with the “Why me?” question and the fear of death staring them in the face. It […]

Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33)

21 Jan
January 21, 2013

I have thought often about where Didi and I were exactly a year ago, the last time we read this week’s Torah portion – on Safari in Kenya. How incredibly far from this world of ours with it’s hustle and bustle, cars and pollution and gadgets.

Tazria (Leviticus 12:1-13:59)

14 Jan
January 14, 2013

This week is one of the least popular bar or bat mitzvah portions in all the Torah. It is filled with laws for how to recognize and treat leprosy when it is found on one’s body, one’s clothes or in one’s home. Most kids are a bit squeamish about skin diseases so they search for […]

Shemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

07 Jan
January 7, 2013

“What is your favorite thing to eat on Passover?” I asked a group of religious school kids last week. “Matzah!” they cried almost in unison. And then the voices of clarification began to appear: “Actually, it’s Matzah with peanut butter and jelly that I take to school for lunch,” one child said. “Matzah brei for […]

Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

01 Jan
January 1, 2013

We are living in scary times. Bombs are being dropped and guided missiles sent to the heart of Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, young men and women from across the United States and Great Britain are stepping into deadly combat even as you read these words. They are bravely staring the uncertainty of death […]