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?
How can we avoid the kind of disaster the Yisrael-ites meet after sending out a scouting party from the wilderness (Numbers 13:1)?
Post-Revelation, week 2. This commentary looks at the exchange between Moses and his father-in-law about the latter's desire to go his own way, back home and not follow the Yisreal-ites on their journey away from Sinai (Numbers 10:29-32). The brief exchange is left open-ended, allowing for much commentary. Also allowing for us to pause and … Continue reading Leaving Sinai
Last week, we completed our 49-stage journey through the wilderness, the seven weeks from the Liberation holiday of Passover toward the Revelation holiday of Shavuot. We are now in the segment of the Jewish calendar that carries us from the high point of Revelation at Sinai to the low point of Tisha B'av, an observance … Continue reading Deceit and Breaking Faith
In "a wilderness" and/or "The Wilderness"? As one journey comes to a close, we continue through "the Wilderness" between the Sea of Reeds and the Jordan in our biblical story and through "a wilderness" of unknowns ahead in terms of politics, economics, and health.
Following up on Pharaoh's Daughter as a part of the erev rav or mixed multitude, quoting from Rev. Wilda Gafney's Womanist Midrash on "A Pharaonic Princess." Gafney, Wilda C. Womanist Midrsash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2017 Here, for reference, is previous discussion … Continue reading (#48) Pharaoh’s Daughter, Again
Continuing exploration of "gathering" and the challenges of forming a community without physical boundaries.
Exploring "ha-asafsuf," sometimes "riff raff," of Numbers 11:4, as "gathering" in opposition to Moses in a chapter also containing a "gathering of elders." How might this set of contrasting views of gathering apply to our pandemic circumstances and the politicization of gathering today?
Perhaps we are all "erev rav" in the sense of being on the eve of something new.
This stage explores a teaching from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook ("Rav Kook," 1865-1935), first Ashkenazic chief rabbi in pre-state Israel. Here is the teaching about the Tachash, an unknown animal with a beautiful and multi-colored hide used in creating the portable Tabernacle in the Wilderness. In this teaching, the Tachash is compared to the erevrav, the … Continue reading (#44) The Multicolored Hide