Gathering Sources: Shemini

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, “Shemini,” Leviticus 9:1-11:47. (Sometimes spelled “Sh’mini” or “Shmini.”) This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”

Shemini is next read beginning at minchah on Shabbat 3/23/19 (Shabbat Tzav).

A path to follow — mourning and hair

Great Souces-1 — a father’s silence

Great Sources -2 — strange crossings

Something to Notice — hairy goat, Torah’s center

Language and Translation — son who remained

See also “In Praise of Silence

Coalition and Redemption

What does change taste like?

How do we know whether we’re really getting out of that narrow place of servitude or just dragging the whole of that mythical Egypt with us but calling it change? This year, approach Passover with some new imagery, focusing on how we build coalition and move together toward redemption. It starts, this short book suggests, in being honest about how the “millstone that is Egypt” affects different populations differently: In the fight for racial justice in the U.S., we are NOT all marching together from the same starting point — that millstone has been weighing differently on Black and brown and white populations for many decades.

Exodus and Exile: Thoughts on Coalition and Redemption focuses on what it means to leave a place, people, or ideas behind and head out toward something that works better for everyone. It is meant to prompt some new thinking, particularly around racial justice issues.

A PDF download is available here, free of charge. If you are able to contribute to the cost of this production, please consider doing so through the “A Song Every Day” Support link.

The printer is preparing a batch of hard copies to be ready on Tuesday, March 19, in time for Purim. If your synagogue or other group would like some copies, please let me know ASAP. Print copies are also available free of charge, but a contribution of $6 toward the printing and other hard costs is appreciated.

Every error or exasperating element of this book is my own, and I appreciate gentle readership. The book will be challenging to some for different reasons. It was challenging to me for many reasons, too. I am still considering this a BETA version with the hope that a fuller work, including additional perspectives, will develop in time. Comments are welcome.

I repeat that any error — of interpretation, fact, spelling, whatever — is mine. But I also thank many who helped with this project in various ways.

Some Essential Connections and Thanks

Thanks to Rabbi Gerry Serotta, director of the Interfaith Council of Greater Washington, for much support and teaching over the years and, in particular, for encouragement and ideas that helped shape this project. Thanks to Norman Shore, independent teacher of Torah in the DC area, for his support and teaching over many years and, in particular, for encouragement and corrections as my thinking evolved on the blog, “A Song Every Day.” Thanks to Rabbi Hannah Spiro, of Hill Havurah, for her enthusiasm and detailed comments on an earlier version.

Thanks also to Barbara Green, Bob Rovinksy, Norman Shore, and others who have supported “A Song Every Day” financially. And thanks to readers of earlier versions for comments and corrections and to those who contributed thoughts over the years, on the blog and via Facebook or other platform, on related topics.

I am also deeply appreciative of the work of every author quoted here, living or not. I am in particular dept to Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Phyllis Trible, Galit Hasan-Rokem, Rabbi Shais Rishon (MaNishtana), and Marc Dollinger. I am also grateful to DC’s Cross-River (Black-Jewish) Dialogue for helping hone my thinking.

Download Exodus and Exile: Thoughts on Coalition and Redemption. (PDF HERE)

To pre-order copies for your synagogue or other organization, contact me at songeveryday @ gmail(dot)com

Gathering Sources: Tzav

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, “Tzav,” Leviticus 6:1-8:36. (Sometimes spelled “Tsav” or maybe “Zav.”) This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.” Tzav is next read beginning at minchah on Shabbat 3/16/19 (Shabbat Vayikra).

A Path to Follow — on taking out the ashes and Seder night misgivings

Something to Notice — changing clothes and gait on Shabbat

Language and Translation — a foreshadowing of disaster

Great Sources — “The Altared Table”

Image by Riala on Pixaba

Gathering Sources: Vayikra

Some thoughts and resources for exploring the Torah portion, “Vayikra,” Lev 1:1-6:7, which also begins the new book, Vayikra/Leviticus. Posting a little early for anyone who wants to get (re-)oriented as we leave the Book of Exodus and enter The Book of Leviticus. (Less variation in transliteration for this portion, but sometimes appears at “Va-Yikra” with a hyphen, older sources sometimes use “W” rather than “V” for that initial vav, so wayikra.)

This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”

Great Sources — some general background sources on the Book of Leviticus/Vayikra

Something to Notice — that tiny aleph at the start of Vayikra

Language and Translation — when a “Soul Unintentionally Fails”

A Path to Follow — calling out and Derekh Eretz

Also “Women, Vayikra, and Progress
And He Called“/Stop Street Harassment.

Gathering Sources : Pekudei

Some material for exploring the weekly Torah portion, Pekudei — sometimes transliterated as Pekude(y) or P’kude  — (Exodus 38:21-40:38):

A Path to Follow — weaving and women’s work

Language and Translation — storytelling continuity

Something to Notice — the colors!

Great Sources — Chapters into Verse and Charles Reznikoff

This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”

Gathering Sources: Vayakhel

Some material for exploring the weekly Torah portion, Vayakhel — sometimes transliterated as Vayak’ hel or Vayak’heil  —
(Exodus 35:1-38:20):

Something to Notice: Constructive Wisdom

Language and Translation — “Betzalel”

A Path to Follow: Women, children, and other usually invisible Israelites

Great Sources: Midrash on mirrors

This is part of a series of weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”

Gathering Sources: Ki Tisa

Some material for exploring the weekly Torah portion, Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11- 34:35. A Path to Follow on the 13 Attributes of God Something to Notice, regarding arguing with God. A note on two interesting words in Language and Translation and some Great Sources.

Third of new weekly “gathering sources” posts, collecting previous material on the weekly Torah portion, most originally part of a 2010 series called “Opening the Book.”

See also Computing Failures and Babylon