Shabbat BeShalakh: Freedom to be Joyful, or Not

Finally, after 400 years of dreaming about a future that is not yet within our grasp, the time is now. All that seemed to be obstacles has fallen away; the door that leads away from enslavement to now is beckoning toward the commitment to what will be. Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. Trust, HaShem tells Moshe, notContinue reading “Shabbat BeShalakh: Freedom to be Joyful, or Not”

Shabbat Bo: Come, O Spring

Parashat Bo arrives at a moment that feels like the return of spring. The timing for the parashah in which we read of our redemption from slavery in Egypt, coinciding with a week in which we saw the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, seems singularly appropriate since Tu B’Shevat, our annual celebration of spring’s firstContinue reading “Shabbat Bo: Come, O Spring”

Shabbat Va’Era: Time to Grow Up

The words of HaShem came to Moshe: “I am The Source of That Which Was, Will Be, Is – your ancestors knew me as a Sheltering Mother; they did not come to this Awareness which is now Yours.” Exodus 6.2-3____________________________________________________ This period of time, the week that was and the one that will be, areContinue reading “Shabbat Va’Era: Time to Grow Up”

Shabbat Shemot: Listen and See that All Is One

we have met the enemy and they are us – cartoonist Walt Kellly in the comic strip Pogo What is the cause of uprisings? the seed of violence? what did we see on Wednesday in Washington D.C., and all spring and summer in Portland? Others will turn to political scientists and sociologists; to these sourcesContinue reading “Shabbat Shemot: Listen and See that All Is One”

The Face of Evil at the U.S. Capitol

The foolish do not knowthe ignorant to not understand thisthough evil seems to flourish like weedsspringing up, vigorous, in every cornerit will not lastGod is above all; God is what lasts.That which hates truth and light will fallall that is the enemy of goodnesswill perish, and crumble away into dust.– Psalm 92 Shalom Shir TikvahContinue reading “The Face of Evil at the U.S. Capitol”

Shabbat VaYehi: Update Your Priors

“One should always be as soft as a reed, and not as hard as a cedar.” Ta’anit 20a-b Parashat VaYekhi is the final parashah of the first book of our Torah, the book of beginnings called in Hebrew Bereshit, “with beginning”(in English, “Genesis”). It’s appropriate that it falls on this Shabbat as we end theContinue reading “Shabbat VaYehi: Update Your Priors”

Shabbat VaYigash: Stepping Away from the Past, Shaping the Future

“The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” – William Faulkner The denouement of the Joseph saga occurs at the beginning of this week’s parashat VaYigash. The great dramatic moment comes when Judah courageously steps forward. He does so to accept the burden of the family’s great hidden sin: that of the brothers’ selling JosephContinue reading “Shabbat VaYigash: Stepping Away from the Past, Shaping the Future”

Shabbat Miketz: Survival Tip for 2020 – Remember Who You Are

s/he was bullied by siblings. s/he was terrorized by being thrown in a pit and ignored. s/he was sold into slavery in a strange society. s/he knew neither the language nor the customs. s/he was accused of crime s/he had not committed. s/he was thrown in a dungeon and forgotten. In parashat Miketz, Joseph modelsContinue reading “Shabbat Miketz: Survival Tip for 2020 – Remember Who You Are”

Shabbat VaYeshev: Justice by the Light of the Hanukkah Menorah

You may very well be wrong in your first impression – Love, Tamar In the second year of the Triennial Cycle of Torah reading, we find that the focus of the parashat hashavua (“Torah reading of the week”) is the story of Tamar in Bereshit, also called Genesis, in chapter 38. After the strange silence imposed upon Dinah inContinue reading “Shabbat VaYeshev: Justice by the Light of the Hanukkah Menorah”