Upon receiving the Emily Georges Gottfried 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Human Rights Commission of the City of Portland. 

A parable from Hasidic Judaism: Once upon a time, the king’s star gazer saw that the grain harvested that year was tainted. Anyone who would eat from it would go mad. “What can we do?” said the king. “It is not possible to destroy the crop, for we do not have enough grain stored toContinue reading “Upon receiving the Emily Georges Gottfried 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Human Rights Commission of the City of Portland. “

Shabbat Zakhor: Fear of G*d

The learning of this week’s parashah all comes down to a confrontation between Shifra and Pu’ah, on one side, and Amalek, on the other. Shifra and Pu’ah were the Hebrew midwives whom Pharaoh commanded to carry out his plan to eradicate the Hebrews by killing all the boy babies as they were born. But the midwivesContinue reading “Shabbat Zakhor: Fear of G*d”

Shabbat Matot-Masei: the Long, Confusing, Chaotic Road to Freedom

In this week’s double parashah we wind up the Book of BaMidbar. The word bamidbar, actually three in English, is usually translated “in the wilderness”. But the root word, dalet bet reysh, can as easily be understood as “speaking”. Our ancestors wandered across a land that was unsettled, and that they saw as chaotic and uncontrollable. We,Continue reading “Shabbat Matot-Masei: the Long, Confusing, Chaotic Road to Freedom”