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Book of Exodus

'As If': The Two Little Words We Too Often Ignore

Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman | Posted 05.21.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman

On Passover, when we act "as if" we ourselves went out from Egypt, we are also leading ourselves to act like people who care deeply about the oppressed, who fight for justice and who extend a hand to those less fortunate.

Plagued By Passover

Nathaniel Levmore | Posted 05.20.2013 | Religion
Nathaniel Levmore

Has the story of Passover made a people better or more secure? Has it stirred its believers to blame others? Has it encouraged a sense of victimhood? That it has is cause for concern and for discussion at the annual Passover meal.

(Re)telling God's Story

Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D. | Posted 05.20.2013 | Religion
Tamar Frankiel, Ph.D.

The Exodus story is not just about a group of slaves who managed a successful escape from an evil king. God arranged an event that would become a story, one to be told and retold, generation after generation. But why?

The Skeleton In Our Closet: Passover

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 05.19.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

At the beginning of the Passover Seder, we dip a vegetable in salt water. There are a number of reasons why. One of them may surprise you...

Passover For Dummies

Mimi Minsky | Posted 05.15.2013 | Religion
Mimi Minsky

While we're busy navigating our ways around aluminum-clad kitchens, taped up cabinets containing chometz, all the while popping lady fingers and peeling vegetables, it's easy to forget why we celebrate the holiday altogether. I'm here to assure you, the story of Passover doesn't need to be complicated.

Does Passover Celebrate The Death Of Innocent Egyptians?

Rabbi Daniel Brenner | Posted 05.12.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Brenner

Prompted by this question, I returned to the perspectives of the ancient Jewish commentators on the Passover story. I wanted to know: Were they bothered by the death of so many Egyptians?

Authenticity In A False World

Ari Hart | Posted 05.06.2013 | Religion
Ari Hart

Our world may feel false. But we can accept it. And in the midst, we can create spaces and relationships where we can be real. And even when the world is at at its maddest, we can remember, remember who we truly are.

Community Depends On Us All

Susan Berrin | Posted 05.05.2013 | Religion
Susan Berrin

Calling on the people -- reminding them of a shared purpose, building the sacred dwelling place we call home, or community, or our country -- is a holy task. And it is one where we all contribute, as fully as we can.

Dancing The Hora: Parshat Ki Tisa

Harry Rothenberg | Posted 04.28.2013 | Religion
Harry Rothenberg

G-d tells Moses that the Jews have built a golden calf. But Moses waits to see it for himself before he breaks the Tablets. Why? Tune in for a novel explanation.

Making Worship Live

Arnold M. Eisen | Posted 04.23.2013 | Religion
Arnold M. Eisen

Our ancestors worked hard to endow ritual moments in the sanctuary with such power, majesty and holiness that God's presence became palpable. This should be our objective also. We too should work hard at it.

Where Can We Find God?

Rabbi Joshua Ratner | Posted 04.14.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Joshua Ratner

A fundamental question undercuts the elaborate description in this week's Torah portion, Exodus 25-27: Why does God need a home?

Justice And Faith: A Study Of Human Trafficking In The Torah

Alyssa Gray, J.D., Ph.D. | Posted 04.06.2013 | Religion
Alyssa Gray, J.D., Ph.D.

God's self-revelation in last week's Torah portion is incomplete without a human implementation of that revelation on earth in the form of just societies, as we read about this week.

More Difficult Than Splitting The Sea: Dr. King's Legacy

Rabbi Michael Bernstein | Posted 03.26.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Michael Bernstein

To get to the mountaintop so stirringly glimpsed by Dr. King in his last days, he had to speak plainly about divisions, not shy away from pointing out disparities and not be afraid to disturb the status quo.

'Django Unchained' And The Rabbis

Rabbi Doug Sagal | Posted 03.11.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Doug Sagal

The rabbis of old were interested in the why: Why was it necessary for the Israelites to develop their peoplehood in the crucible of slavery? "Django Unchained" is essentially Quentin Tarantino's exploration of exactly the same question.

Moses And The Challenge Of Diversity: Parshat Shemot

Rabbi Daniel Freelander | Posted 03.04.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Daniel Freelander

As we begin the annual reading of the book of Exodus, we call on our political leaders in Israel to carefully reread this time-honored narrative, seeing themselves as modern-day figures like Moses and Miriam, who have the great opportunity and responsibility to help shape a diverse and promising Jewish and democratic society in our ancestral homeland.

Biblical Homophobia And Christian Pastors

Christopher Lane | Posted 07.23.2012 | Religion
Christopher Lane

To see a Republican lawmaker and a prominent Christian pastor try to outdo each other in their bigotry and murderous hate puts in unpleasant but clear relief the moral health of the organizations they represent.

Back To The Beginning: From Egypt To Sinai

Mimi Minsky | Posted 06.26.2012 | Religion
Mimi Minsky

For proper introspection, there is only reflection. We must reflect on where we have been to know where we ought to journey toward.

Following The Path To Redemption -- One Small Step At A Time

Rabbi Edward Bernstein | Posted 06.16.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Edward Bernstein

Passover is important, but Passover is incomplete. In celebrating our freedom, we celebrate our ability to enjoy life, one precious day at a time. Each day we encounter other human beings and have the task to create and foster meaningful relationships.

Occupying Passover

Carol Smaldino | Posted 06.03.2012 | Religion
Carol Smaldino

The idea of Passover is that the issues of slavery and freedom are for all of us. If that is so, we need to confront slavery not only in the most obviously brutalized parts of the world, but in ourselves as well.

From Slavery Unto Freedom: A 3,300-Year-Old Lesson For The 21st Century

Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Ph.D. | Posted 06.03.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, Ph.D.

The Jews' difficulty in adjusting to being a free people resonates today. There are many groups of people who live under autocratic, dominating rulers, who are unable to release themselves from these bonds.

The Why And How Of Freedom: The Enduring Message Of Passover

Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman | Posted 06.03.2012 | Religion
Rabbi Geoffrey A. Mitelman

On this Passover, we have an opportunity -- and responsibility -- to hold in our hearts and minds a grand vision of justice and peace, and to move from the general to the specific, from the abstract to the concrete.

Shabbat HaGadol: Setting The Table For Passover

Nancy Fuchs Kreimer | Posted 05.27.2012 | Religion
Nancy Fuchs Kreimer

While Jewish law sacralizes food throughout the year, Passover brings eating to a new level of complexity. Sometimes the details threaten to overwhelm and obscure the meaning. Returning to the story of the Exodus helps the message assert itself.

Parshat Vayakhel-Pekudei: Come Together For God's Sake

Josh Fleet | Posted 06.08.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

Israel atones. Next day, Moses gathers everyone together. "These are the things God commands: Work for six days. The seventh is holy for you. Rest completely then. Do work and die. Do not kindle a fire in our home on this Sabbath day."

Seeing God's Face

Rabbi David Wolpe | Posted 05.09.2012 | Religion
Rabbi David Wolpe

In the Bible, we are warned that none can see the face of God. There is danger in God's exaltedness; to presume to look upon the Divine is to court destruction.

Parshat Ki Tisa: Sin So Soon?

Josh Fleet | Posted 06.08.2012 | Religion
Josh Fleet

Later, after the dust settles, God speaks to Moses: "Uplift the people. Let each give one half Shekel as soul atonement. Twenty years and older. Rich and poor. All give the same."