D’var Torah

Avoiding Yohara – Tzav 5783

The challenge in reading the detailed descriptions of the rituals regarding sacrifices is to find within them some meaningful insights that transcend the rituals that are no longer practiced. Those who succeed find the exercise rewarding. Those who fail, tend to...

read more

Still Relevant – VaYikra83

Professor Jacob Milgrom offers a surprising explanation of the purpose of the book of Leviticus. While the text centers mostly on priestly laws, the subtext is the eradication of pagan religion (Leviticus, p. 8ff). The basic premises of pagan religion, Milgrom writes,...

read more

Hard to Convince – Beshallah 5783

As a rabbinical student, I learned that should anyone generate a novel understanding of the text (hiddush, in Hebrew), two questions need be asked: first, is this novel understanding of the text correct? and second, why has no one thought of this before? These two...

read more


Words to Live By

What lies behind you and what lies ahead of you pales in comparison to what lies inside you.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Rabbi Allen on Twitter