This week’s Torah portion is Vayigash in the book of Genesis. See yesterday’s blog post for my commentary for this week on this Torah portion. But I also have a different way to look at this portion, Vayigash published in the new Torah commentary, Torah Queeries by NYU Press. Edited by Jewish Mosaic Leaders, Gregg Drinkwater, David Schneer and Rabbi Joshua Lesser (in full disclosure I am on the Advisory Board!), It is a wonderful and outstanding and yes, scholarly collection of commentary on the weekly Torah readings. Each contributor, both from the LGBT community or straight ally makes an important contribution to Jewish scholarship and the intersection of LGBT scholarship. It powerfully reclaims the Torah for the LGBT reader and non-LGBT reader alike.
At the Canadian book Launch in November that I had the honor of participating in, Rabbi Lesser says it was “Torah through a bent lens.” It takes our LGBT life experiences and weaves it into the Torah and allows the reader to do exactly what the Talmud teaches: Ben Bag Bag says: Turn it (the Torah) over and over for everything is contained within it. And so even with our renewed understanding of the inclusion of LGBT people in Jewish life there is still much to mine and delve into and this new book helps us do so.
Click on the blog roll to the right of this post for more information on Torah Queeries and do yourself a favor–ORDER IT. (No I don’t make any money on the book sales). It will be an enlightening experience. Happy Reading
To read more about Jewish Mosaic and its work here is the link.