This year, I have the pleasure of studying the Book of Exodus together with the lay-led Hebrew Bible study group at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I serve as senior rabbi.
The story of the Golden Calf has so seared itself into our consciousness that it has become one of the prime acts of apostasy in the Jewish story.
The end of this week's parashah includes some short, but memorable pieces of legislation: the explanation for why we tithe a little dough when making challah (Numbers 15:20-21); the killing of the man who gathered wood on Shabbat (Numbers 15:32-36); and the instructions to wear tzitzit w
The Jewish people's turbulent saga of disillusionment with liberation takes a new and momentarily promising turn this Shabbat, with a foray into the land of Canaan by twelve scouts.
...all the artisans who were engaged in the tasks of the sanctuary came, from the task upon which each one was engaged, and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than is needed for the tasks entailed in the work that the Eternal has commanded to be done."
A guide to help adults learn how to engage young children in a discussion about this week’s Torah portion.
Following the giving of the Ten Commandments in last week’s Torah portion,Parashat Mishpatim brings us a diverse collection of civil, criminal, ritual, and ethical laws. Included in the parashah is a section of text that has become relevant to a topic that is highly contested in our day.
Next month, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear Whole Woman's Health v. Cole, a challenge to a restrictive Texas abortion law. It will be the first time in more than 20 years that the Supreme Court has heard an abortion case.
The poet Yehuda Amichai writes: I don’t want an invisible god... I want a god who is seen... , so I can lead him around and tell him what he doesn’t see… ... In this week’s portion, Ki Tisa, we reconnect with this unfinished storyline at the beginning of Exodus 32. While Moses tarries atop Mount Sinai, the people down below are losing their patience:
According to Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, or Nachmanides; 1194-1270), this week’s Torah portion, Vayak’heil, is properly understood as the necessary reconciliation between the Israelite people, on one side, and God and Moses, on the other, after the devastation of the Golden Calf episode. Ramban reads the opening phrase, “Moses then convoked the whole Israelite community (Ex. 35:1), as Moses rebuilding and healing the community through the inclusion and involvement of all ...