Judaism was never big on self-denial,” says Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discussing this week’s parashah. “Holiness is expressed through ethical actions. Fundamentalists and extremists distort the mainstream Jewish tradition of seeking moderation, logic and reason.


Freedom and Responsibility

Passover and Shavuot are linked conceptually, which is why we count down the days,” says Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch. “You can’t have freedom — Passover — without law — Shavuot. If we do not embrace responsibility, we will not be able to sustain our liberty.



If you shall follow my laws...” begins this week’s parashah. “That word ‘if’ is one of the most consequential words,” says Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch. “It connotes all of the uncertainties of life.


The Big and the Small of the Matter

Bigger people have a responsibility to smaller people.” Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discusses the obligations outlined in this week’s parashah, Emor. “To diminish people who are not quite as big in responsibility or social status violates the image of God that is inherent in each of us.


The Dignity of Labor

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch delves into what the this week’s parashah has to say about labor and providing for those less fortunate: “Why do we have obligations to those who cannot support themselves? The Torah is emphatic: it's about human dignity.”