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Pinkhas: Speaking and Listening

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Pinkhas 2016

Pinkhas: Speaking and Listening

This week’s reading, Pinkhas, includes what may be the first recorded example of women publicly speaking out for more equitable treatment. At the end of the wilderness journey, Moses was instructed to allocate the land–as well as the right to inherit it–on the basis of a male-only census. Enter five extraordinary women: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah,  the […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Balak

Balak: Wisdom from a Smart Ass

How can you help but love a biblical story featuring a talking ass? This week’s Torah portion, Balak, includes such a creature and, as far as I’m concerned, she is the hero of the tale.  Let me explain. The setting is the conquest of the land of Canaan. The Moabite king (Balak, who gives his name […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Khukat 2016

Khukat: Even Rocks Deserve Compassion

This week’s reading (Khukat), includes an incident that has been the subject of seemingly unending speculation. YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: “Take the staff and assemble the community, you and your brother Aaron; speak to the rock so they can see you so that it gives forth its water. In this way, you will bring forth water for them from the […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Korakh 2016

Korakh: For the Sake of Heaven

This week’s reading focuses on a rebellion against Moses and Aaron leadership. Korakh, the leader of band of rebels, expresses his challenge with the following words: “…Too much you have taken for yourselves! The entire community–all of them–are holy and YHVH is in their midst. Why then do you exalt yourselves over YHVH’s congregation?” (Numbers 16:3) As […]

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