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.

What It Means To Be Prepared

In this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bo, the Israelites are given precise directions for how to prepare and eat the Passover sacrifice. The text describes what kind of animal to bring (a yearling lamb or baby goat without blemish) and who should eat it (each family, gathered together as a household). The Torah explains how the sacrifice should be prepared (roasted over an open fire, cooked or served with unleavened bread and bitter herbs). And it gives instructions for when the Israelites should eat the sacrifice (at night, leaving nothing behind until morning). The text not only describes how the Israelites should prepare the meat of the sacrifice, but also how they were to prepare themselves: