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Vaera: In Defiance of Despair

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vaera 2017

Vaera: In Defiance of Despair

This week’s Torah portion, Vaera, focuses on the power struggle between Pharaoh and Moses. Interestingly, even though this battle is on behalf of the Children of Israel, their response to the unfolding drama consists, in this reading, of just one verse: And Moses spoke–just as [God had instructed him] to the Children of Israel, but they […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Sermon: Heroines of Exocus and the Women's March on Washington

Sermon: Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity

This sermon was given on January 22, 2017 to the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River. Yesterday, Jews around the world read from the first chapters of the biblical book of Exodus. And yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people—men, women and children, people of every gender and sexual expression, and all colors, ages and ability–participated […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Shemot

Shemot: A Passion for Compassion

This week’s reading (Shemot) opens the book of Exodus. I am particularly fond of this one because it includes a group of courageous and compassionate women. After connecting the end of Genesis with the beginning of Exodus, Shemot turns to the changed circumstances of the Israelites. A new pharaoh was in charge, and was worried about […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vayekhi 2017

Vayekhi: On Being Old and Satisfied

This week’s reading, Vayekhi, is the last portion in the book of Genesis. The tale of Joseph is concluded, and Jacob–the last of the patriarchs–dies in Egypt, surrounded by his offspring: Jacob finished commanding his sons, and he gathered up his feet into the bed, and expired and was gathered to his people. (Genesis 49:33) It’s […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vayiggash 2016

Vayiggash: Don’t Know Mind

This week’s reading (Vayiggash) concludes the story of Joseph and his brothers. At the conclusion of last week’s reading, a stolen goblet was discovered in Benjamin’s pack. Benjamin was the youngest of Jacob’s sons and especially beloved by his father as his mother, Rachel, had died and Joseph was presumed dead. The goblet had been […]

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