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Ki Tissa: Imagining Catastrophes

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Ki Tissa 2016

Ki Tissa: Imagining Catastrophes

With this week’s Torah reading, Ki Tissa, we return to narrative drama. Moses was alone on Mt. Sinai receiving the Torah, but the Children of Israel were having a different experience. Forty days had passed with no word from their liberator, leader and conduit to God. It’s no surprise that they were anxious: When the people saw […]

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Tetzaveh: Service from the Heart

This week’s Torah reading, Tetzaveh/Command, provides instructions for making the high priest’s ritual garments. Aaron and all subsequent high priests were commanded to wear these vestments whenever they entered the Tent of Meeting or approached the altar. The priestly garb included a woven breastplate (khoshen) set with precious stones inscribed with names of the twelve Israelite tribes.  Exodus […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Terumah 2016

Terumah: Foolish Wisdom

This week’s reading, Terumah/Offerings, describes the necessary steps for creating the mishkan, the portable sanctuary that accompanied the Israelites on their desert wanderings. That being the case, it is not the easiest reading from which to derive spiritual teachings. But the rabbinic imagination is nothing if not fertile, and the commentaries on this week’s portion offer fascinating […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Mishpatim 2016

Mishpatim: Clouded Perception

This week’s Torah reading, Mishpatim/Laws, includes a long list of divinely ordained statutes on a wide variety of topics. Included among them is the following instruction: Do not takes bribes, for bribes blind the clear-sighted and confounds the words of the righteous. (Exodus 23:8) The Torah’s language is very clear on this matter and on the reasons […]

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