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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat Acharei Mot (April 30 and May 7, 2016)
by Rabbinic Intern Stephanie Crawley

IN A CLASSIC EPISODE OF “THE WEST WING,” the press secretary, C.J. Craig, arrives at her office to find two turkeys inside. She is told that she must choose the most photogenic of the pair to receive the annual Thanksgiving “presidential turkey pardon.” Burdened by this responsibility, she begs the President to pardon both turkeys: “The more photo-friendly of two gets a full Presidential pardon and a full life at a children’s zoo, and the runner up gets eaten?!” The President asserts that he has no actual power to pardon the second turkey and instead uses his Constitutional powers to draft it into military service — thereby “saving” its life.

Continue reading Stephanie’s commentary »

Poor C.J.
Bravo to Stephanie Crawley for using my favorite TV show to teach us a
lesson about responsibility. As we face a presidential election, both the
issues she brings up -- individual and collective responsibilty -- must be
on everyone's mind. I applaud Stephanie for making weighty problems
relevant and, at the same time, a little amusing.

bjeis - May 1st

We may be wired to see the world from within our own tunnel of vision, but
we have other senses that inform our judgment.  We need to sense all around
the self, take it in, and return understanding to others.  But that is very
hard to do when one feels injured or frightened.  Scapegoats enable us to
engage only superficially before returning to the tunnel. 

PaJKirk - May 3rd

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