Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

“Tools of Gold”

Every job has its tools. In my industry (at least, back in the old days), there were pencils for students, chalk/white boards for teachers, and books for everyone. Such tools had benefits and limitations. When used together, they had the potential to generate profound illumination.

Building with God in the Wilderness: A Theology of Just and Loving Communities

In a path-breaking1993 work entitled Sisters in the Wilderness: the Challenge of Womanist God-Talk, Delores Williams sets forth a theology of the wilderness centered in the experiences of African American women. Building from the particular and speaking with universal resonance, Williams identifies a wilderness ethic grounded in the values of: survival, relationship and resilience. For Williams, the wilderness is a place of both struggle and possibility - a place in which Hagar, a slave cast out of her home, is rescued by God so that she can ultimately mother her own nation into being.

The Importance of Gracious Receiving

At the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I was not always gracious in receiving his gifts because I felt they did not reflect who I am and pointed to his not truly knowing me.

Gifts to God and the Meaning of Sacred Symbols Today

T’rumah opens with a call for the Israelites to bring to God what the standard English translation calls “gifts”: "The Eternal spoke to Moses, saying: Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts; you shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart is so moved" (Ex. 25:1-2).  After enumerating the precious metals, stones, and materials that would constitute such gifts, we learn the purpose: "And let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them" (Ex. 25:8).