Category: Bamidbar

Matot: Heavy Tongue, or the House of Cards theory of bible study

I want to begin by acknowledging my teacher, Max Ticktin z”l, for whom the period of shloshim is coming to a close and whose connections to Temple Micah are more varied and interesting than I […]

Balak, Dead50, and Frederick Douglass

The U.S. was in a “lingering period of childhood,” said Frederick Douglass on the occasion of Independence Day in 1852. “Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. […]

Tzipporah’s Eye View at the DC Sermon Slam

I have always lived among priests and prophets. I know that some divine encounters prove more terrifying than illuminating. And I believe there is much to be learned about Revelation by turning away from Sinai’s […]

Purposefully Blue

The peculiar blue [תכלת, tekhelet] thread used in tzitzit [ritual fringes] (Numbers 15:37-41) also appears prominently in the construction of Tabernacle (Exodus 25ff). It is used in the inner curtains and the loops that connect […]

“You set the patterns of the moon”

El Adon and Another Pinchas Addendum … (5) Glory and honor they give to You glowing praises to Your rule You call to the sun and it gives forth light You set the patterns of […]

More on Mouse: Pinchas, part 2

More on Mouse [addendum to dvar Torah, “Pinchas and the Scary Friend”] Many hard-boiled detectives have their “scary friend.” But Ezekiel (Easy) Rawlins’ friend Raymond (Mouse), is something else again. Mouse is written by Walter […]

Pinchas and the scary friend

My original plan, when I was assigned Parashat Pinchas (Numbers 25:10-30:1) to offer a dvar Torah, was to skip over Pinchas and his spear and the matter of God and human vengeance. But that’s not […]

Robe, River, and Bond in Morning Prayer

Wrapping The early morning section of a Jewish prayer book focuses — with some variety in content and order (see below) — on wraps: God is robed in majesty (Psalms 104:1-2). Jews are wrapped in […]

Sibling Prophets Together Before God

This post originally appeared on Clergy Beyond Borders’ News/Views blog, June 9, 2011. Sibling prophets argue but find a way to remain together in the third Bible portion in our “wilderness” series. The reading — […]

You Didn’t Have to Be There: Prayer, Sinai and the Grateful Dead

There’s a great scene in a fairly silly movie, called Must Love Dogs: The struggling divorced man played by John Cusack is obsessed with the movie Doctor Zhivago. He watches it over and over at […]