Parashat Shelakh L’kha: Not So Close

This struggle is harder, and taking longer, than we thought This week’s parashah tells the story of how, in the old Yiddish expression, mahn trakht und Gott lakht, “people plan and G*d laughs.” Our ancestors, the ancient Israelites, expected that the journey to the Land they were promised would be their new home would beContinue reading “Parashat Shelakh L’kha: Not So Close”

Shabbat BeHa’alot’kha: We Need More Light

The days are as long as they get right now, yet we need light desperately: the light of hope, the light of healing, the light of happiness, all obscured in the horror of realizing that our own Federal government is operating concentration camps full of children and adults who are innocent of any crime.  Continue reading “Shabbat BeHa’alot’kha: We Need More Light”

Shabbat Naso: Queering Your Torah Study

Shir Tikvah’s greatest contribution to the Portland Jewish community is our vibrant, provocative weekly Torah study. As scholar Judith Plaskow put it:   Given the centrality of Torah study and interpretation to Jewish self-understanding, it is not surprising that many contemporary Jews continue to grapple with Torah as a way of defining their Jewish identities.Continue reading “Shabbat Naso: Queering Your Torah Study”

Shabbat Naso: In Honor of Pride, Queer Morning Blessings

begin with this blessing for all ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם שאשני בצלמו barukh atah Ad-nai Eloheynu melekh ha’olam sheh’asani b’tzalmo I give thanks that I am created in in Image of G*d choose the appropriate continuation/s for a non-binary person   ברוך אתה יי אלהינו מלך העולם שעשני כרצונו barukh atah Ad-nai EloheynuContinue reading “Shabbat Naso: In Honor of Pride, Queer Morning Blessings”

Shabbat BeHukotai: How to Choose Blessing Over Curse

Our parashat hashavua, our Torah reading for the week, is BeHukotai, which can be translated as “in all these laws.” The parashah itself is famous for a horrifying list of curses that we are told will befall us if we turn away from the good path of life. Longstanding Jewish tradition bids us chant thisContinue reading “Shabbat BeHukotai: How to Choose Blessing Over Curse”