The Moabite, College and Sourdough

In honor of the festival of Shavuot, which begins this evening, I was re-reading “Law and Narrative in the Book of Ruth,” in Aviva Gottlieb Zornberg‘s The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious. There’s […]

Behaalotekha: Great Source

My all-time favorite midrash is a commentary on Numbers/Bamidbar 12:1ff. It identifies Moses’ “Cushite wife,” against whom Miriam complains, as the black ink of the Torah: in this view Miriam believes that Moses has become […]

Groundbreaking, Part 2

Part 2: Prayer Books, Gender and Sex “Groundbreaking” as dialogue across the spectrum?

Behaalotekha: A Path to Follow

This portion contains one of several mentions of “seventy elders,” (Numbers/Bamidbar 11:16) sharing the burden of leadership with Moses, and some interesting bits about who gets to prophesy, when and how:

Behaalotekha: Something To Notice

This portion includes words that are found in the service, when the Torah is removed from the ark, “Vayahi binso’a ha-aron…“: When the Ark was to out, Moses would say:

When the Ground Breaks

Part 1: Prayer Books and Women Is offering a single feminine verb-form an innovation in Jewish prayer?

Naso: Great Source(s)

For a frighteningly realistic and thought-provoking contemporary midrash [to Bamidbar/Numbers 5:11-31], check out the story, “Bitter Waters,” by Rochelle Krich in Criminal Kabbalah: An Intriguing Anthology of Jewish Mystery & Detective Fiction (Jewish Lights, 2001; […]

Naso: Language and Translation

“Speak to the Israelites: When men or women individually commit any wrong toward a fellow human being [chato’t ha’adam], thus breaking faith with YHVH [lim’ol ma’al], and they realize their guilt…”

Torah: Opening the Book

“All you have to do is open up the book.” In a recent study-planning discussion for the Temple Micah (Washington, DC) group Kol Isha, I went off on a bit of a rant with this […]

Bamidbar: A Path to Follow

Males are counted “from the age of one month up” (Numbers 3:15).