Get six complete and original sermons for Parshat Shemini/Parah (or purchase them individually)
1. Red Bull vs. Red Heifer
Merely one week after Purim, a holiday that is the epitome of joy, we must take up a most somber topic – life and death. For this Shabbat forces us to consider the most troubling of all questions: When defiled by death, what can we do to restore life?
2. Does Judaism Annihilate Individuality?
Is there room for individuality in Judaism, or does religion demand conformity? Nadav and Avihu faced this very dilemma in this week’s Torah portion with tragic consequences. The lesson we learn from them teach us how your individuality is a critical component in being a Jew.
3. Getting High: The Jewish View
We just came from the holiday of Purim, when one is obligated to reach a state of intoxication. What is the Torah’s take on alcohol and other controlled substances? Should they or should they not be legally available for consumption? And is there a difference between alcohol and marijuana?
4. Holier Than Thou. How To Handle Ethical Conflicts With Others
How do we handle moral/religious differences with others … be they our parents or children, our husbands or wives, our friends or strangers? This week’s Torah reading behooves us to ask (and answer) some hard questions about religious selfishness and define true religious experience, transcending even our “religious ego.”
5. Kosher Lessons from Treif Birds
Birds of a feather flock together. From the treif stork, pelican and owl – whose Hebrew names are chasida shalach tachmas – we learn the most kosher lesson of all: how the many Jews of a feather can truly flock united together!
6. More than a Numbers Game
We live in a results-oriented world, and to produce the best results we work extra hours and spend whatever spare time we have worrying about the outcome. But this approach, instead of generating masterful results, usually generates anxiety, stress, and more worry. Parshat Shemini offers us another approach to achieve transcendence.