This week’s double portion, Aharei Mot and Kedoshim, begins with a litany of seemingly unrelated laws. The proscriptions include sexual conduct (“Let no woman lend herself to a beast to mate with it”), agricultural practices (“You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed”) and scapegoating (“He who set the Azazel-goat free shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water; after that he may re-enter the camp”).
In 1966, the Jewish Daily Forward serialized Isaac Bashevis Singer’s Yiddish novel, “Sonim, de Geshichte fun a Leib,” a tale of the psychological and sexual neuroses of Holocaust survivor Herman Cohen in 1940s New York, and those of the female company he keeps. The story was later published as “Enemies, A Love Story” and then adapted, 23 years later, by Paul Mazursky into a film that won three Oscar nominations. Now, 40 years after its initial publication, the story is being tackled yet again — this time for the stage, by author and playwright Sarah Schulman.
Last week Avraham Infeld, president of the Jewish campus organization Hillel, rightfully stated that tzedakah is easier than tzedek. The difference between charity and justice, he pointed out at the Spitzer Forum on Public Policy/JCPA Plenum, is the difference between providing essentials like food or clothing and dealing with the root causes of