Shabbat Pinhas: Violence Begins At Home

מִפְּנֵי מָה חָרַב? מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיְתָה בּוֹ שִׂנְאַת חִנָּם “why was the Second Temple destroyed? It was destroyed due to the fact that there was sin’at hinam, senseless hatred, among us” – BT Yoma 9.a This week in the Torah our parashah is profoundly disturbing. Last week’s final lines described what our tradition has defined as an “extrajudicial execution” undertaken by a member ofContinue reading “Shabbat Pinhas: Violence Begins At Home”

Shabbat VaYishlakh: Gratitude, Not Fear

As Parashat VaYishlakh begins, Jacob survives a confrontation with his brother Esau, from whom he has been estranged for twenty years – a generation, a lifetime, of distance. Jacob has prepared himself for the worst, splitting his family into two camps and sending lavish gifts to his brother in advance – according to the Midrash, heContinue reading “Shabbat VaYishlakh: Gratitude, Not Fear”

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?”