We Are What We Remember
One of our Reform liturgy's (and Rabbi Jack Riemer's) most beautiful poems begins with the words, "In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.
Worrying about More Than Ourselves
As we read Genesis, we find it refreshing to encounter the so-called heroes and heroines of the narrative struggling with their own characteristically human feelings, failings, and frailties. In this regard the character of Jacob is especially rich.
Numbers, Stories, and a Long Tradition of Ritual
Parashat Sh'mini —the eighth day; how many of our parashiyot start with a number?
B'haalot'cha: This Passage Is Out of Place
This week’s Torah portion, B’haalot’cha, begins with the instructions for the lifting up of “the lamps,” haneirot, to illuminate the Tabernacle. The initial letter of the word, “lamp,” neir, is nun.
From Blasphemy to Blasphemous: An Instructive Transition
In Parashat Emor, the Torah reports that a man born of mixed Israelite-Egyptian descent “blasphemed the Name [of God],” was placed on trial, and was stoned to death. A law was then enacted that anyone, Jewish or gentile, who blasphemes the name of God shall be put to death. Over time, in communities throughout the world, laws against blasphemy were put in place to address curses leveled at God as well as perceived slights against some religions.
Joseph and Potiphar's Wife: A Study of Moral Ambivalence
The portion Vayeishev contains astounding examples of bad behavior: Joseph maligns and humiliates his brothers; they, in turn, respond by selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites; Judah and Tamar become involved in a charade of dismal consequences; and, of course, Joseph, onc
Remember the Days of Old
In Haazinu, Moses recites a poem telling the people of Israel that they must give glory to God and be true to God whose ways are just. He instructs them to consult their elders and “remember the days of old.”