Torah Commentary

It’s All About the Question Mark

April 20, 2019Rabbi Ben Spratt

My elementary school teacher believed the question mark was inspired by the curiosity of the cat....  At this season, Jews around the world will begin the holiday of Passover, the “holiday of questions.” Passover is known by many other names, but this association with questions is linked all the way back to the Torah. 

The Power of God as Torah

March 31, 2018Rabbi David A. Lyon

The Torah reading for this Shabbat from the Book of Exodus tells of the Israelites’ successful flight from slavery in Egypt. As we hear the chanting of the exultant Song at the Sea recalling that triumphant escape, let us continue to draw strength from Torah in facing challenges today.

Matzah in the Realm of Paradox

April 23, 2016Elyse Goldstein

The Torah reading for the first day of Pesach, which falls on Shabbat this year, comes from chapters 12 and 13 of the Book of Exodus, and discusses one of the most well-known topics of the holiday — matzah. We find the multiple commandments to both refrain from all chametz (leavened foods) and to eat matzah, in verses 15-20 of chapter 12. Then, we hear the familiar "historical" reason why the Israelites "baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had taken out of Egypt . . . since they had been driven out of Egypt and could not delay; nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves" (Exodus 12:39).

We Ourselves Went Forth from Egypt

April 4, 2015Richard N. Levy

Our encounter with the offerings made in the Tabernacle is interrupted on the Shabbat of April 4th by a description of the Exodus that we celebrate on this day, the first day of Pesach. The Reform reading (Exodus 12:37-42; 13:3-10)