Torah Commentary

Torah Commentary

The Ones Who Cross Over

Our people are called by many names throughout the Tanach, but my personal favorite is one of the earliest: ivri, which means “Hebrew.”

On the Other Side of the Jordan

We read in Parashat Matot of the Israelites defeating the Midianites, and in Parashat Masei, the Israelites' movement since the Exodus are recounted. It seems that we are approaching the climactic scene where the Israelites enter the land that God promised to Abraham and his descendants.

Finding Holiness in Hugs, Home & Hoagies

The pandemic kept me away from Philadelphia for over a year and a half, the longest I had ever been away from my hometown. As the plane descended out of the clouds, I gazed down on the city and was overcome with emotion. So much of my life had happened down there: celebration and mourning, love and heartbreak, triumph and failure.

Are We Capable of Evil?

Who distinguishes between Israel and other nations?

The enormous ethical mission that the Reform Movement has taken upon itself in the last generation is the spiritual and practical strengthening of the belief that all people are created in God's image. This week's double portion tells of a battle in which the Israelites viciously vanquished the forces of the Midianites. Does their behavior reflect the image of God? Does ours?