This Spring, Charnice Milton Community Bookstore and We Act Radio are launching reading and conversation with the aim of understanding the workings of oppression and our part in them.
Author Archives: vspatz
Predictable Results and Grief
When Pharaoh tells the people to “cast (off)” the baby boys (Exodus 1:22), do we ask, horrified: How could any people behave as Pharaoh directs?! Or do we acknowledge that we are those people?
Dick Gregory, z”l, and the Joseph Story
Some words about Dick Gregory’s Bible Tales from something I wrote in the Before Time, just barely pre-Covid.
Rachel is a powerful biblical character, in her showing up and in her disappearing, and possibly the biggest “oker/uprooter” of the whole family….
Akiva and Ishmael at the Mountain
“Acher and ben Zoma in the orchard. Akiva uprooting the mountain….” some SVARA-inspired thoughts on rabbinic image-language.
Bent, Barren, Essential and Abundant
Midrash calls Rachel ikarah [chief] as play on the word “akarah [barren].” But what about Sarah and Rebekah? More on roots, uprooting, and essence.
What was Isaac doing in the field at the eventide? Uncertainty is more powerful than a simple answer.
Planting Trees, Stretching Glitter
The planting of an orchard, or center of hospitality, could be a whole episode, or maybe an entire series, in a serial story. Within the plot-heavy Torah portion Vayera, ([“And he saw”]: Gen 18:1-22:24 — see My Jewish Learning), however, this bit of narrative can be easily overlooked or dismissed — it seems so small,Continue reading “Planting Trees, Stretching Glitter”
If we start with the intention of learning to build community, how will the questions we ask of Torah change?
Structure and Blessing
Short note on a connecting root shared by birah and berakha.