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Beshalakh: Walking the Talk

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Beshalakh

Beshalakh: Walking the Talk

This Torah portion finds us at the conclusion of the Israelite sojourn in Egypt. Pharaoh finally relents and agrees to let the people go.  They journey through the wilderness, led by a divine pillar of fire, and eventually make camp by the Sea of Reeds. Meanwhile, back in Egypt, Pharaoh has had a change of heart and sends […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Bo

Bo: Delusional Desire

This week’s Torah portion includes Moshe’s last encounter with Pharaoh before the exodus from Egypt. It narrates the last of the ten plagues, including the death of the first-born, and establishes Pesach/Passover as the first Jewish festival. I am theologically and ethical troubled by aspects of the Exodus account, but I am also inspired by it. There’s […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Finding Your Voice

Vaera: Finding Your Voice

Moshe’s initial attempt to free the Children of Israel had failed. Pharaoh had punished his audacity by imposing even harsher conditions on the Israelite slaves. Moshe cried out to God, wondered why God had sent him, when all he had managed to do was to make things worse. God responded to his plea, reiterated the promise of liberation, […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Shemot

Shemot: Doubt

This week, we begin the the book of Exodus, which is known in Hebrew as Shemot (Names).  The seventy souls that journeyed with Ya’akov to Egypt have flourished and become the Children of Israel, a people numerous enough to feel threatening to the Egyptians. The Israelites are enslaved and abused; their sons are to be […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Surrendering the Illusion of Control

Vayekhi: Surrendering the Illusion of Control

We’ve come to the last reading in the book of Bereshit/Genesis. Ya’akov and his remaining family now live in Egypt, safe from famine and under Pharaoh’s protection. After 17 years there, Ya’akov dies and his sons carry him back to Canaan and bury him there.  Without Ya’akov there to restrain him, Yosef’s brothers wonder whether he will now […]

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