Parshat Ki Tissa: Devastation vs. Celebration

Parshat Ki Tissa: Devastation vs. Celebration

This is a great time of year for a sports enthusiast. First of all, baseball spring training has begun. Basketball and hockey are beginning their most intense stage of the regular season. Football conversation abounds with all the hoopla concerning where college players will be drafted by the National Football League. Although many of us...

Parshat Tetzaveh: Being a Kingdom of Priests

Parshat Tetzaveh: Being a Kingdom of Priests

The Torah portion of Tetzaveh may appeal to fashion designers and to anyone obsessed with details about professional uniforms. To the rest of us, Tetzaveh seems quite remote. We learn about the vestments worn by the Priests, when fulfilling their professional duties. The vestments are explained with great care; as if most of us are

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...