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Bo: Liberating the Mixed Multitude

Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Bo 2017

Bo: Liberating the Mixed Multitude

In this week’s Torah portion (Bo), the Children of Israel finally escape Egypt bondage. But they weren’t the only ones fleeing Pharaoh: A mixed multitude also went up with them  (Exodus 12:38) Commentators through the ages have had a lot to say about this mixed multitude (erev rav). Frankly, I find much of it to be, […]

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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 | 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 | Beha'alotekha 2016

Beha’alotekha: Raising Light

This week’s reading, Beha’alotekha, considers various aspects of the challenges of leadership. It begins with instructions for lighting the seven-branched menorah that had been constructed for use in the mishkan/temporary sanctuary: YHVH spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and say to him: “When you light (beha’alotekha) the lamps, let the seven lamps give light toward the front of […]

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Taking out the (Mental) Trash

One morning during our recent Silence and Transformation meditation retreat, a garbage truck provided the sound track for our morning prayers. Suddenly my heart was filled with a whimsical longing: I wished that I could take out my mental trash as easily as I dispose of the other unusable, unwanted and no-longer-useful debris of my […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Korakh

Korakh: Holiness Envy

This week’s Torah portion focuses on the rebellion of a faction of tribal leaders and its consequences.  Just three verses in, the rebels, led by Korakh, arrive en masse to confront Moshe and Aharon: “…Too much you have taken for yourselves! The entire community–all of them–are holy and in their midst is YHVH. Why then […]

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Waking with Gratitude

How do you start your day? Do you groan at the sound of the alarm, make a beeline for the coffee and stumble into your day? Do you grab your phone to check your email, your Facebook feed and the morning news? Turn on the TV or radio or grab the newspaper? Or do you […]

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