Parshat Terumah: Forging A Holy Place

Parshat Terumah: Forging A Holy Place

Writing this commentary, I experimented with a different template and layout for the email version. My previous template was pretty basic; this one requires more navigation through different designs and layouts. It also requires some deviation and experimentation, meaning that it will take a little more time for trial and error. Only when...

Parshat Mishpatim: Denial and Admission

Parshat Mishpatim: Denial and Admission

There are valid reasons for repeating the weekly Torah portions annually.  With each passing year we are different people; we are influenced by evolving experiences and conditions in life. Occasionally, world events also inspire us to read Torah portions from a fresh perspective. Such is the case with my interpretation of a narrative in...

Parshat Yitro: Loving the Jewish People

Parshat Yitro: Loving the Jewish People

This week Moses receives some invaluable wisdom from an unlikely source: Yitro, the High Priest of Midian.  OK, the High Priest happens to be Moses’ father in law; but with the Torah so emphatically opposed to idolatry it seems unusual for Moses to accept advice from a pagan head of tribe. Yitro’s advice however, is

Parshat B’Shalakh: Now the Fun Begins

Parshat B’Shalakh: Now the Fun Begins

During our (fairly) recent initial war against Iraq, we joined the Iraqi people in celebrating the downfall of Saddam Hussein.  The war was considered a success; now that a despicable despot was gone Iraq could develop a genuine democracy.  Amidst the euphoria however, one significant challenge remained: Forging a democracy. Democracy was...

Parshat Bo: Where Conviction and Convict Meet

Parshat Bo: Where Conviction and Convict Meet

Parshat (Portion) Bo: Where Conviction and Convict Meet This past weekend I saw The Post; an amazing film chronicling the Washington Post in its efforts to publish the Pentagon Papers. If you recall, the Pentagon Papers were categorized as top secret documents about the war in Viet Nam. More accurately, they documented how various...

Vaera and Oppression

Vaera and Oppression

Vaera and Oppression It is fitting that the season when we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King generally coincides with the opening chapters of Exodus. The initial Torah portions in the Book of Exodus (Shmot in Hebrew) describe Israelite oppression and slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh and his henchmen persecute b’nai yisrael...