This week’s reading, Mikeitz (Gen 41:1-44:17), comes to us from several different perspectives. In addition Rabbi Suzanne Singer notes the cliffhanger nature of this telling, describing it as a reminder to us that “…our choices are moment-to-moment decisions, the path never certain until the time comes to act. This cliffhanger ending is also a signalContinue reading “Perspectives and Pauses: Episode 10”
In this week’s portion, we read about an incident involving Potiphar, Potiphar’s wife (never named in the Torah), Joseph, who is enslaved within Potiphar’s house, and other menservants of the household. Nechama Leibowitz points out how Potiphar’s wife uses different language when telling the servants her story and when telling her husband: this reflects anContinue reading “Common Cause?”
In this week’s Torah reading, we see that Dinah goes out “to see.” What does it mean for an individual of one culture or community “to see” someone from another? What can and can’t we see? This is episode 8 in Genesis. Vayishlach is Genesis 32:4-36:43. What follows is Hebrew for verse 34:1, transliteration, andContinue reading “Went Out, To See”
A few thoughts on diversity of place names, names for the divine, and ways of calling on, clinging to, and claiming land in this week’s Torah reading. The portion is called Vayeitzei [And he left/went out], Gen 28:10-32:3 Naming land, Naming Ancestors: Genesis Genesis 31:47: Laban named it Yegar-sahadutha, but Jacob named it Gal-ed. DictionaryContinue reading “Ancestors and Names: Genesis and DC”
Episode 6, based on the Torah portion Toldot, Gen 25:19-28:9. Two not thoughts on Esau and Jacob. “The Greatest Threat to Civilization…” by Rabbi Michael Dolgin, citing Pardes Yosef from the Lodz Ghetto. See also Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. Genesis: The Beginning of Desire (Jewish Publication Society, 1995). Get a copy, if you can — orContinue reading “Brothers and Conflict”
This is combined episode 4 and 5 of the book of Genesis, focusing on divisions in the narrative — divisions in family, of ideology and of belief systems, and land — as well as some points of (re-)union. This commentary covers both the Torah portion Vayeira, 18:1-22:24, read last week, and this week’, Chayei Sarah,Continue reading “Separating and Unity”
Abraham’s Lekh Lekha took “radical folly,” and we will need the same for the weeks ahead.
The story of Noah, and commentaries on what intersects with ideas of caste.
Abel’s blood(s) cry out from the ground, and that informs ancient Jewish ideas about acceptable procedures in capital cases. What are the implications for police killings?
How can we avoid the kind of disaster the Yisrael-ites meet after sending out a scouting party from the wilderness (Numbers 13:1)?