Torah Commentary

Where Is Humanity?

January 3, 2021Rabbi Mary Zamore

This week’s Torah portion, Sh’mot, begins the well-known narrative of Israelite enslavement and redemption from Egyptian bondage. On face value, it tells us of God’s saving power at our greatest moment of need. However, within the twists and turns

Self-Awareness Sets Us Free

December 6, 2020Rabbi Jen Gubitz

“I’ve never been good with words,” he said.
“I wouldn't know what to say.
I wouldn’t know how to say it.
I wouldn’t even know who to say it to - 
I’ve just never been good with words.”

The anxiety

Why Should Leaders Get Close to Those Who Suffer?

January 18, 2020Rabbi Stephanie M. Alexander

After the individual sagas that comprise so much of Genesis — Joseph’s story alone consumes the better part of 19 chapters — the speed at which the Israelites’ fortune reverses at the beginning of Exodus is stunning. And all it takes is one verse. In this week’s portion, Parashat Sh’motwe read: “A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” (Ex.1:8)

The Limits of Control

January 6, 2018Rabbi Sarah Bassin

In Parashat Sh’mot, we learn the Israelites have been enslaved in Egypt by a pharaoh who did not know Joseph. To gain some small degree of control, the Israelites examine their behavior for flaws that may have caused the situation.