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Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. Learn More

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Dvar Tzedek

  • Shmini

    It may be fitting that in the week during which we observe Yom HaShoah (the Jewish day of Holocaust remembrance) we read in Parashat Shmini of another devastating loss.

    At the Mishkan (tabernacle), the people of Israel gather to celebrate the inaugural burnt sacrifices to God, along with the first priestly blessing led by Aaron and witnessed by Moses, his brother. But tragedy strikes: The oldest sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, offer to God “a strange fire” that “God had not commanded them.” And at that moment, “a fire came forth from God and consumed them” and the brothers die.


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AJWS supports more than 500 grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia and the Americas that promote the rights of women, girls and LGBT people; rebuild societies torn apart by war and natural disasters; and seek to secure access to food, land and water. In the United States, we mobilize our supporters to advocate for U.S. policies that help create a just and equitable world. We are inspired by Judaism’s commitment to pursue justice and repair the world, and we believe that Jewish history teaches us to respect and fight for the rights of others. Read more or donate.

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