Freedom

In the End, It’s About Appearances…

Posted on January 20, 2023

Parashat Va-eira; Exodus 6:2-9:35 This week’s Torah portion Va-eira begins in the book of Exodus chapter 6, verse 2. In Hebrew this book is called Sh’mot – the Book of Names. The fifteenth century Italian commentator Ovadia ben Jacob Sforno teaches that “a name describes the individual features of a person. And these individual features are Continue Reading »

To Pray and to Praise

Posted on August 19, 2022

One of the great misconceptions about religion is that people pray and perform rituals so that God will give us what we want — in essence, to manipulate God. This reminds me of the story about a man who prayed to win the lottery. When his hopes were dashed, he turned to God in bitter Continue Reading »

Celebrating Pride Shabbat

Posted on June 10, 2022

This month we celebrate Pride. But what does celebrating pride mean? For the LGBTQ+ community, Pride means being able to be yourself and be safe while being who God made you. This week’s Torah portion contains the following statement: “When a man or a woman commits any wrong toward a fellow human being, thus breaking Continue Reading »

When Will Our Redemption Come?

Posted on December 24, 2021

This brief commentary is dedicated to the memory of Shuey Horowitz and Cindy Andrews, both of whom were what the Talmud would call “women of consequence.”(1)   In this week’s parashah, the Torah offers a lesson that would be significant had it been written today. That it was written some 2,800 years ago is truly Continue Reading »

Freedom in Our Day

Posted on January 29, 2021

The story of the Israelites being freed from Egyptian bondage by God, with Moses as their leader is a story of redemption. The Israelites were saved by God’s power, and we became God’s people in the process, ultimately receiving the Torah at mount Sinai and joining in the covenant with God that binds us together Continue Reading »