Shabbat Masei: Ethical Cleansing

The parashah for this week offers a challenge to our interpretive skills and to our honesty. As we confront the first verses read in this second year of the Triennial Cycle, we read clear words which are incredibly problematic for anyone who holds up both the ideals of progressive, liberal ethics and our people’s understandingContinue reading “Shabbat Masei: Ethical Cleansing”

Shabbat Pinhas: Peace in the Midst of Violence?

This week’s parashah is startlingly appropriate to our current situation. We are all aghast at the violence that has broken out in Israel – although the fact that Israel remained relatively quiet as the region seethed struck many as a miracle that could not last – and our hearts are broken for the suffering andContinue reading “Shabbat Pinhas: Peace in the Midst of Violence?”

Shabbat Balak: Truth Also Comes From Darkness

This week’s parashat hashavua finds us in the Book of Numbers (BaMidbar, “in the wilderness”, is its Hebrew name) in chapter 23. We are offered a curious perspective in this parashah. There are a few places in the Torah in which a non-Israelites teaches the Israelites, but this is the only place in which anContinue reading “Shabbat Balak: Truth Also Comes From Darkness”