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Tetzaveh: Eternal Light

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Tetzaveh

Tetzaveh: Eternal Light

Early in my adult Jewish learning, the evolutionary quality of Jewish thought and practice captured my interest.  As conditions changed over time and across space, Jews found extraordinary ways of adapting without losing connection to the past. This week’s Torah portion offers an opportunity to explore this process of adaptation and change. In last week’s […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Terumah

Terumah: Offering Space

This week’s Torah portion is Terumah, which means “offering”. The reading opens with a divine request for gifts of specific items that will be used to construct a sanctuary. These offerings are not mandatory but are to come from those whose hearts are moved to contribute. The text explains the project this way: Let them […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Mishpatim

Mishpatim: Cultivating a Benevolent Heart

This week’s parashah/Torah reading is aptly named Mishpatim, which means “rules” or “ordinances.” The reading includes 53 different mitzvot/religious obligations encompassing, among other things, civil rights and responsibilities, jurisprudence, finance, seasonal festivals and dietary laws. I’d like to focus on just two of them: When you encounter your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you must […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Interdependence

Yitro: Interdependence

This week’s Torah portion includes the revelation at Mount Sinai, the giving of the Ten Commandments and the acceptance of God’s rule by the Children of Israel, but I’m not going to comment on any of that. Instead, I want to focus on Moshe and the challenge of leadership.   The Israelites were not an easy group […]

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