CHUKAT NUMBERS 19:1 – 22:1
We thought that when God said, “It is not good for human beings to be alone,” (Genesis 2:18) God responded by creating a couple. What the Karen people understand, and we would do well to learn, is that God didn’t stop with that couple. God created us to be family.
CHUKAT NUMBERS 19:1 – 22:1
SHELACH: NUMBERS 13:1 - 15:41
There had been something between Miriam and Batya from the moment their eyes settled on one another at the Nile. It wasn’t love, nothing like that. Yet.
BEHA'ALOT'CHA: NUMBERS 8:1 - 12:16
When someone is ill, we go beyond the letter of the law. We find them where they are. We learn what they need and we do something about it. We join them . . . nothing fancy. We just . . . join them. And we reach out with a hand and with others we catch them, or we take on some of their weight. We hold them. El na refa na la.
BAMIDBAR: NUMBERS 1:1 - 4:20
This past weekend, I had the honor of being the officiant in two weddings. On Sunday afternoon, I stood under the chuppah with Heather and Oliver, and shared these words of Torah with them and with their community.
EMOR: LEVITICUS 21:1 - 24:23
What does it mean to be a Jewish man? I am well-aware of my hubris in challenging the paradigm as a cis-gendered queer woman, but I find the Jacob/Esau dichotomy harmful. I think it fractures our community.Read More
As we gather for our seders, we have an opportunity to bless our children - those born to us and taught by us. May we bless them for who they are, in all that they are. May we bless them in their infancy, their childhood, their adolescence, and their adulthood
TZAV (LEVITICUS 6:1 - 8:36)
Deeds of compassion and kindness toward all creation are of greater significance to God than sacrifices.
VAYIKRA (LEVITICUS 1:1 - 5:26)
“Whom shall I send?” God called.
Every thread of Isaiah's being responded, “Here I am. Send me!”
VAYACHEL-PEKUDEI (EXODUS 35:1−40:38)
My perception of Vayachel-Pekudei is forever shaped by my memories of a young woman developing her voice and claiming her own style of leadership, of the sweet, plump cheeks of a baby who needed to come in his own time – even though some of us worried that it was maybe a little early, of his mother’s hand on the top of his big brother’s head, and of his father’s intense and loving eyes gazing down at him.
With his parents’ permission, I share with you the words I shared with him.Read More
This year, informed by Nowruz and in observance of Purim, let’s think about how we might reach out diplomatically with the intention to increase love and friendship between ourselves and others.
TETZAVEH (EXODUS 27:20−30:10)
It feels so foreign, the story of needing special cloth and fur, of gold and silver, crimson and purple and blue linen and embroidery, special stones, layers of covering to connect with God. The ornamental clothing of the Priest is described in this parsha in dramatic and exacting detail.
TERUMAH (EXODUS 21:1−24:18)
Check it out. It’s not the miracles. It’s not what God does for us that transforms us. It is what we do together with God. Sometimes, it’s even what we think we have done for ourselves, and then realize we didn’t actually do it alone.
BO EXODUS 10:1 - 13:16
The “no” of the Jewish people was “No, we don’t want to be slaves.”
The “no” of Pharaoh was “No, I will not listen to you, I will not hear you.”
From the story in this week’s Torah portion, we can learn that like Moses and Aaron and the Jewish people in Egypt, we can keep saying “No” in all the ways we need to until we are heard. And we can remember not to be like Pharaoh. We can hear someone else’s “No”.Read More
SHMOT EXODUS 1:1 - 6:1
Holy. Buckets. This. Parsha.
It’s like reading the news.
It would be easy, I think, to plunge into Shmot with Pharaoh and forget about Joseph and his family.Read More
MIKEITZ GENESIS 41:1 - 44:17
It wasn’t only a war of independence. The Maccabean revolt against the Greeks rose from an atmosphere of spiritual and cultural conflict. That they needed to oppose Antiochus who established Zeus in the Temple was clear, but to what degree could Jews adopt Greek culture and still be Jewish?
Did we really reject it all?
VAYESHEV GENESIS 37:1 - 40:23
I believe our bodies are the most external expression of our souls. When we move our bodies in the world, I believe we are moving the most external expression of our souls in the world. When we touch someone else's body, I believe we are touching the most external expression of their soul with the most external expression of our own soul.
VAYISHLACH GENESIS 32:4 - 36:43
Dinah is the last child of Leah. Dinah is Leah’s daughter – a girl. And Leah named her.
Midrash Tanhuma Vayaheil teaches, “There are three names by which a person is called: one which their parents call them, one which people call them, and one which they earn for themselves. The last is the best one of all.”
BY AMY JOSEFA ARIEL
VAYERA GENESIS 18:1–22:24
Why did Idit look back? Did she miss her neighbors, or did she want to watch them burn? Was she aching for her two daughters who refused to leave, or was she upset about her material losses? Our Torah does not answer these questions. All we know is that she looked back.
NOAH (GENESIS 6:9 – 11:32 )
It is this parsha in which I find my heart, and it is also this parsha that breaks it.