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 signal … Continue 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 an … Continue reading Common Cause?
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. Dictionary … Continue 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 — or … Continue 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?