January 16, 2019

Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Bechukotai with Rabbi Gilad Kariv

Our guest this week is Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). After receiving his BA in Law and Jewish studies from the Hebrew University in 2001, Kariv interned at the Supreme Court division of Israel’s State Attorney Office. In 2003 he received his Master's degree in Jewish studies at the Hebrew Union College (HUC) in Jerusalem. In 2004 he was certified as a lawyer by the Israeli Bar Association. In 2008 Kariv received a second Master's in Constitutional Law from Northwestern University in Chicago, through a combined program with Tel-Aviv University.  Rabbi Kariv was ordained at the HUC. Among his rabbinical posts, Kariv served as a rabbi at Congregation Beit Daniel in Tel Aviv until 2008. Between 2003 and 2009, he served as the director of the Israel Religious Action Center and headed several public and legal initiatives in Israel on issues of freedom of religion, relation between religion and state, conversion, and many other social causes. Kariv has been the executive director of the IMPJ since 2009.

In this week’s Torah portion – Parashat Bechukotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34) – God promises the people of Israel prosperity if they follow his commandments and warns them of exile and persecution if they abandon his laws. The Torah then discusses different types of gifts given to the Temple, and the animal tithe. Our talk focuses on the description of the financial value of the lives of men and women of different ages in the parasha and examines the role of gender in this seemingly discriminatory section.