All posts by Rabbi Jim Morgan

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Jim Morgan

Wonder Woman and Pinchas: The Persistent Appeal of Zealotry

(Parashat Pinchas Numbers 25:10 – 30:1) In the film Wonder Woman (2017), the heroine, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, intervenes in World War I on the side of the Allies. She zealously seeks the destruction of Ares, the god of war (the gods are almost Greek, but seem not to be immortal). Along with her multicultural group of allies, she determines that Ares has incarnated himself as the supreme… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Jim Morgan

Shame and Drawing Close to Holiness (Parshat Shemini, Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

In a 2016 New York Times Op-Ed, Sally L. Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld observe that modern American culture has been “down on shame [as] a damaging, useless emotion that we should neither feel ourselves nor make others feel.” This trend is unfortunate, they argue, because it ignores the positive role that “appropriate shame”—which they define as “the feeling that one has failed to live up to one’s own standards”—can play… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Jim Morgan

Poetry and the Blessings of Misunderstanding

 Parshat Noach, Genesis 6:9-11:32 There are utterances — their meaning Is obscure or negligible, But to attend to them Without agitation is impossible. Mikhail Lermontov, 1840 As we come to the close of a bitter election season, in which the use and misuse of language has loomed so large, this week’s Torah portion, Noach, gives us an opportunity to ponder both the importance and the challenges of linguistic diversity. Parts… Read Article →