Category: Devarim

God’s Presence Accompanied Them

It is way too easy to let “God is with the oppressed” console the already comfortable while leaving the afflicted with their travails. As the new year…

Siddur as Hometown: Don’t Dismiss the Travel Guide

We often treat the siddur like our own hometown: we can imagine why others are fascinated

interlude: Summer 5777

A few words about “interlude” and gathering up “against the unknowns ahead.”

Why is This ‘Oved’ Different from The Other Seder ‘Oved’?

“When do we eat?” is often identified as the fifth question at the Passover seder, after the prescribed four about dipping and reclining, bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Just as often, in my experience, people […]

Grass Roots: a holiday question and memorial reflection

As we approach the high holidays, grass shows up in two haftarah readings. What do these verses tell us in this season of repentance and return? I am pondering. Meanwhile, a recent yahrzeit called to […]

“If a corpse be found…”

Chapter 21 of Deuteronomy (Shoftim: Deut 16:18-21:9) tells the Israelites what to do, upon entering the land, “if a corpse be found..the identity of the slayer not being known.” This is the elaborate ritual involving […]

Heel-dom: gods of comfort and power

“Every 28 hours across America a black person is killed by security guard, police officer or some other executive of the state,” Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson said on the recent “Face the Nation,” […]

Shavuot: Forward, Eyes Wide Open

The story of Ruth, read on the holiday of Shavuot – the time of the giving of Torah — centers around a “redeemer”: a “redeemer” in the financial sense, a male relative to retrieve the […]

Remember Miriam: Process & Patience in Parashat Ki Teitzei

“Remember what your God YHVH did to Miriam on the journey after you left Egypt.” — Deuteronomy/Devarim 24:9 — What is this personal remembrance doing in the midst of a portion which consists largely of […]

Hearts, Eyes and Ears: Ki Tavo Prayer Links

The Torah portion Ki Tavo closes with a wonderfully disorienting perspective, as the reading cycle prepares to leave the Israelites on the banks of the Jordan, while we, as readers, prepare for the new year. […]