Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

Giving What’s Due

Belinda Sutton stood before the court while her petition was read aloud. It described how she had been violently removed from her home, taken on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and forced to work in deplorable circumstances for nearly 50 years. However novel Belinda's effort may have been at the time, the call to be given what she was due was not new. Consider this week's parashah.

A Sign on Your Hand, A Reminder Between Your Eyes: An Embodied Jewish Theology of Solidarity and Liberation

In Parshat Bo, we are taught to retell and to embody the story of the Exodus. These commandments offer pathways to building Jewish theologies and communities which aspire toward liberation and solidarity, communities which hold up sacred text together with lived experience, which see in Jewish stories and histories deep wells of empathy and understanding with which to march in solidarity with all people on the path out of Egypt.

Reparations: Seeding a Better Future

In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, as the soon-to-be freed Israelites prepare to leave Egypt, the Egyptians are struck with the plagues of locusts, darkness, and death of the firstborn.

Honoring the Innocent Victims of Conflict

The drama of Parashat Bo is mostly terrifying. The mounting confrontation between the Israelites – represented by Moses and Aaron (but really God) – and the Egyptians – represented by an unnamed Pharaoh – reaches its crescendo with the last three of the ten plagues. We should strive to remember all of the innocent victims on both sides of every conflict.