Torah Commentary

Setting an Ethical Table

August 1, 2021Cantor Evan Kent
According to Biblical commentator Nehama Leibowitz, this eating of meat based on the sheer enjoyment of eating meat is a new concept. Previously, the eating of meat was part of the sacrificial ritual with Aaron and the priestly class also joining in the eating of this burnt offering

What Torah Says about Economic Equity

August 6, 2020Rabbi Max Chaiken

The word “economics” often evokes stock markets, exchange rates, global trade, and unemployment. But whether we are talking about buying groceries or the national debt, our material welfare and well-being have been of paramount concern since the beginning of human

Balancing Between Anarchy and Self-Actualization

August 31, 2019Cantor Elizabeth Sacks

In the litany of rules and regulations found in Parashat R’eih, we read two commandments that at first glance seem to propose conflicting sentiments. The first is a reproach against personal anarchy. The second promotes the idea of self-actualization. How do we reconcile the two? 

Identity and Ethics: Knowing Who and Whose You Are

August 11, 2018Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, Ph.D.

If someone tells you that Judaism is X or Y, you should never believe them. Judaism is such a complex civilization — it is made up of religion and culture, language and land, and a particular kind of peoplehood. ...  The Israelites’ preparations both to enter the Land and to create an ideal society are central motifs of Deuteronomy, and a particular focus of the extensive Parashat R’eih

Tear Down Their Altars

August 19, 2017Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein

Parashat R’eih begins with a set of instructions for the Israelites to tear down the altars of other gods once they enter the Promised Land. By today’s standards, these instructions may appear to be harsh.