Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

Public Officials Need To Be Honest and Appear Honest

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

Parshiyot Vayak’heil and P’kudei each cover the many details of the building of the Tabernacle. But the first blueprint is found in Parashat T’rumah , when Moses receives the instructions for how to build the Tabernacle. Now, in Vayak’heil , construction finally begins, and we hear the instructions again. Then in P'kudei , where Moses gives an accounting, there’s still another itemization of every component used to build the Tabernacle.

Why Did the People Demand New Leadership?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, we encounter one of the most troubling episodes in Israelite history and find ourselves, along with generations of commentators, searching for explanations — even excuses — to justify the Israelites’ behavior.

What Is the Proper Attire to Wear in the Sanctuary?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

Anyone who sees young children in “dress-up” clothes knows that a magical transformation has taken place. ... In Parashat T’tzaveh , we read a detailed description of the special clothing that Aaron and his sons, the recently appointed Israelite priests, are to wear when attending to their duties. God tells Moses:

Can God Be Found Only in Our Sanctuaries?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

Whenever we read this week’s Torah portion, Parashat T’rumah , I find myself thinking of amazing moments I’ve experienced in nature, like the Shabbat evening my husband and I spent in Sedona. After a short hike, we had settled in close to Cathedral Rock, an area where every vista is...

Does the World Need More Love or Justice?

D'Var Torah By: Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

We’re often taught that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, beauty is only skin deep, and we should never judge a book by its cover. But what about when there’s a disconnect between what we’re told is on the inside and what we see on the outside — when one’s actions leave something to be desired, though supposedly one’s heart is in the right place? Is what’s on the inside still what counts? This week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim , suggests otherwise, as it begins: “These are the rules ( mishpatim ) that you shall set before them [the Israelites]:” ( Ex. 21:1 )