Shabbat Ki Tetze: The Truth of a Bird’s Nest

We are not individuals, no more than birds are. We and they are individuated out of an endless sky of possibility and longing. And on a dark night we need each other to huddle against the cold. In this week’s parashah we see one of the most famous passages in all of Torah: the case ofContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tetze: The Truth of a Bird’s Nest”

Shabbat Ki Tetze: Doing Battle In Jewish

The first words of this week’s parashah are כי תצא למלחמה ki tetze l’milkhamah, “when you go out to do battle.” When one looks for these words in the Torah scroll, it’s easy to mistake the place, for the same phrase appears three times in a short space of parchment. All three have in common thatContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tetze: Doing Battle In Jewish”

Shabbat Ki Tetze: You Can’t Choose Whether, but You Can Choose How

The title of our parashat hashavua is ki tetze, “when you go out”. The Torah is continuing to give instruction for how we shall behave when we go out from our place, and a number of possibilities are offered here. What we come to realize is that there is a Jewish ethic for any act. TheseContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tetze: You Can’t Choose Whether, but You Can Choose How”

Shabbat Ki Tetze: There Are No Small Details

Judaism is full of lofty ideals and ethical standards, but if you only know your religion in this way you are missing out on a layer of Jewishness which is much closer to home. (No, not the “cultural Judaism” layer of eating bagels….) It’s the “what do I do right now?” layer, what we mightContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tetze: There Are No Small Details”

Shabbat Ki Tetze: Eyes Wide Open, and Blackberries Too

Sometimes I am asked why I choose to bring the woes of the world into our awareness on Shabbat. “Rabbi, I spend all week aware of all that’s wrong in the world – on Shabbat I want to get away from it.” Would that we could so easily “turn off” the world, refresh our soulsContinue reading “Shabbat Ki Tetze: Eyes Wide Open, and Blackberries Too”