Rabbi Lewis M. Barth

Rabbi Lewis M. Barth is Professor Emeritus, Midrash and Related Literature Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles. 

Slander and Sliding Scales: The Legacy of Parashat M'tzora

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lewis M. Barth

April 24, 2015
Parashat M'tzora is one of those Torah portions that-at first glance-contains subject matter that doesn't seem to speak to the religious strivings or spiritual sensibilities of contemporary Reform Jewry. Its topics include purification rites for people with leprosy or other skin eruptions and for houses in which mold appears. Leviticus...

Biblical Sacrifices and Choosing a President

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lewis M. Barth

March 10, 2015
The season of electioneering is upon us. Following the four-year cycle, as in the past, citizens of our nation currently face the awesome responsibility of choosing our next president. In the coming months, we will be courted and regaled with tales and testimonials about the various candidates' best and worst...

Appreciating the Giver as Well as the Gift

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lewis M. Barth

March 4, 2015
The Torah portion Vayak’heil (Exod. 35:1-38:20) presents Moses' speech to the Israelite community at one of the many special gatherings or convocations of the Hebrews during their wanderings in the desert. The speech opens with a brief restatement of the commandment to keep the Sabbath. However, the topic of Moses'...

Perplexing Problems of Divine Power

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lewis M. Barth

January 23, 2015
Parashat B'shalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16) contains a startling mixture of themes and symbols: manifestations of God's power and miracles, God and Israel testing each other, complaints against Moses and Aaron, water, manna, and the staff of God. It is the bridge between the redemption from Egyptian slavery and the revelation at...

The Power of Deathbed Promises

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Lewis M. Barth

December 23, 2014
Parashat Va-y'chi concludes the Book of Genesis. It is a mixture of narrative and poetry, of blessings and curses, of promises and anxiety about the future. As we shall see, the last moments in the lives of the patriarch Jacob and of his son Joseph come to represent crucial foundational...