Open or Closed

Parshat Tzav Leviticus 6:1 -8:36 Religion is meant to be mysterious.  It talks about things you can’t see- like God.  Religion tries to in its best case scenario link people through emotional and communal bonds. Religion lifts up ideals of ethics and morality.  Religion tries to bind a group through ritual and to help us…Read more »

Can You Hear the Call?

Parshat Vayikra Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26 Vayikra means “God called out.” (Lev. 1:1).  With this new book of the Bible, Leviticus, God calls out to Moses.  Exodus ends with the building of the Tabernacle. It has exquisite detail of the design and the construction of the Tabernacle, God’s earthly home. Now God wants to draw…Read more »

The End and a Beginning

Parshat Vaykheil-Pekude Exodus 35:1 – 40:38   This week’s Parasha continues with the recounting of the building of the Mishkan.  In Parshat Terumah  and Parshat Tetzaveh, the instructions and designs are revealed to Moses.  And tradition states that in our portions this week, the plans are executed.  Moses now tells the Children of Israel of…Read more »

Leadership Style

Parshat Ki Tissa Exodus 30:11-34:35    This week we observe the joyous holiday of Purim.  The Story of Esther in our Tanach, the Hebrew Scriptures, reminds us of the human strength to be the voice of justice and truth.  Esther prepared for three days of prayer and a day of fasting to summons the courage…Read more »

Leadership Style

Parshat Ki Tissa Exodus 30:11-34:35    This week we observe the joyous holiday of Purim.  The Story of Esther in our Tanach, the Hebrew Scriptures, reminds us of the human strength to be the voice of justice and truth.  Esther prepared for three days of prayer and a day of fasting to summons the courage…Read more »

Continuing Revelation

Parshat Mishpatim Exodus  21:1 -24:18 Our Torah portion this week, Parshat Mishpatim expounds and expands the Ten Commandments given in last week’s Torah portion, Yitro.  The Jewish people are blessed with a system of law and rules to live by.   Why weren’t “Ten” rules for living enough?  Why does God give Moses further instruction?  The…Read more »

The Rule of Law

Parshat Yitro Exodus   18:1-20:23   This week the rule of law won out.  The release of the decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Proposition 8 by a vote of 2-1 reaffirmed that justice and legal logic have a place in our society and our world.   Writing for the majority Judge Stephen…Read more »

The Bones of Joseph

Parshat Beshallach Exodus 13:17-17:16 Our Torah portion contains one of the most well-known moments in the Bible.  This week the Children of Israel walk between walls of water on dry land to escape Egypt and Pharaoh’s army.  Cinematic images of Charlton Heston as Moses are burned into our global psyches!   Moses raises his staff…Read more »

The Plagues are Here

Parshat Va-eira Exodus 6:2-9:35    The plagues descend upon Egypt in this week’s Torah portion Va-eira.  Six of the ten plagues are described. Moses with the help of his brother and spokesman, Aaron confront Pharaoh at the behest of God. Each time Moses makes the request of Pharaoh to let the Israelites go free, Pharaoh…Read more »