Parashat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1–24:18 I thank You, living and eternal King, for giving me back my soul in mercy. Great is Your faithfulness. Modeh Ani prayer from the Koren Siddur Have you ever given someone a gift and been disappointed when they didn’t say “thank you”? The gift was a gift, no strings attached,… Continue reading It Begins with Thanks
Last week I posted a commentary on Vayechi, the final Torah portion in Genesis, entitled How Trust Can Be Restored. It opened with a question, or two actually: “The news stream today is filled with stories of abuse and betrayal, and we might wonder whether deeds like this can ever be forgiven. And even if… Continue reading Who Deserves Forgiveness?
Parashat VaYishlach, Gen 32:4–36:43 When someone asks us, “Will you do me a favor?” we’re likely to ask what they have in mind before we say yes or no. Why? Because a favor by definition is something undeserved, something that might go beyond the ordinary, and we want to know what it is before we… Continue reading Favor Elevates Its Giver
Parashat Lekh L’kha, Genesis 12:1–17:27 Abraham’s lifelong conversation with Hashem begins with a simple two-word phrase: “Lekh l’kha—get going!” (Gen 12:1). Before the Lord reveals anything about his character, purpose, and plans to Avraham, he sends him on a journey. My translation of Lekh l’kha here might differ from the one in your Bible. It’s… Continue reading Lekh L’kha—The Essential Journey
But Yosef said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Am I in the place of God? You meant to do me harm, but God meant it for good — so that it would come about as it is today, with many people’s lives being saved." Gen 50:19-20 Just this summer my newest book was released: A… Continue reading My Latest Offering
Sixth Haftarah of Comfort, Isaiah 60:1-22 All Israel will be saved. Romans 11:26 Isaiah has provided many images and metaphors of Israel’s restoration throughout the Haftarot of Comfort—return from exile, flowering of the Land of Israel, rebuilding of her cities, tribute and honor coming from the surrounding nations. Now, toward the end of these readings,… Continue reading The All-Israel Alignment
At his Sunday morning cabinet meeting this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu donned a kippah to read from the Torah. Two days earlier the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, “acting on a request from the Palestinians, declared Hebron’s Old City to be a heritage site in danger” (https://www.jta.org/2017/07/09/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/netanyahu-reads-ftom-genesis-to-illustrate-jewish-peoples-israels-claim-to-cave-of-patriarchs). In response to the resolution, Netanyahu read… Continue reading UNESCO, Hebron, and Netanyahu’s Kippah