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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vayera 2016

Vayera: Not Knowing

I’ve written and rewritten my reflection on this week’s reading three times. Vayera includes many significant passages, all of which are worthy of comment. But–unusually for me–I have nothing to say about any of them. The recent election has shaken me–along with many, many others–to the core. There is great uncertainty about what is next for America, but […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Vayera 2015

Vayera: Optical Illusions

This week’s reading (Vayera/and he appeared) covers a lot of ground. It includes Sarah’s unexpected pregnancy, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael, and the binding and near sacrifice of Isaac. Each of these episodes is worthy of comment, but I am going to focus on the portion’s opening lines: […]

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Rabbi Naomi Hyman | Looking Back

Vayera: Looking Back

I have always been fascinated by the story of Lot’s wife.  I am not alone in this. Biblical commentators, whether contemporary or traditional, Jewish or not, have long wondered why the poor woman was turned into a pillar of salt. Let’s start with some context.  God noted the pervasive sinfulness of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah and […]

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