Tag Archives: Exodus-rav

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

Turning Back to the Center

Parshat Bo, Exodus 10:1-13:16 In our buildings and with our bodies, we strive to turn physically toward the holy. We orient synagogue buildings toward the ancient place of the Holy of Holies, the innermost part of the ancient Temple, and turn our bodies in that direction for prayer. Approaching and leaving the bimah, from which services are led and the Torah is read, we keep our faces toward the ark and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Lev

What’s Truth Got to Do With It?

Parshat VaEra, Exodus 6:2-9:35 A colleague calls me to vent: A congregant had told her angrily that she should not talk about climate change in her sermons, because climate change isn’t real. My mother-in-law tells us about a client who says that he voted for Donald Trump because Hillary Clinton is one of the worst mass murderers in history. 2016 brought America’s public discourse to a new, dangerous place. We… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah shoshana-friedman

Going Toward Egypt

Parshat Shemot, Exodus 1:1-6:1 The other day while visiting my parents, I overheard my mom on a call. The woman on the other end of the phone had helped my parents with home decorating in the past, and they had called to ask her advice about an old couch. But within moments I heard my mom exclaiming, “Oh, sweetie! I’m so sorry. When will you be in Boston for chemo?”… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Nehemia Polen

Seeking God’s Presence in the Sukkah (Shabbat Chol ha-Mo’ed Sukkot, Exodus 33:12-34:26)

Our Torah reading this week, for the Shabbat during Sukkot, is surely one of the most gripping stories in scripture, but at first glance it appears to have little connection with the holiday of Sukkot. The Torah passage narrates the aftermath of the Golden Calf episode, when Moses saw firsthand the apostasy of the Israelites just forty days after the Sinai revelation with its clear command not to make and… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Arthur Green

Liberation: A Sacred Moment

(Passover; Readings for First Days–Exodus 12:21-51 and Leviticus 22:26-23:44) On the second day of Passover, Jews begin a period called sefirat ha-omer, when we publicly count off each day for the next fifty, concluding with the holiday of Shavuot. (Hence the Greek term Pentecost, for the fiftieth day.) While originally a practice used for calculating the agricultural season, the rabbinic tradition used it to establish a deep connection between these… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Emma Kippley-Ogman

With Water, String, and Laughter: Finding the Divine

Parshat Pekudei, Exodus 38:21 – 40:38 This month, the Torah has led us on a comprehensive tour of the folk art museum of ancient Israelite desert wandering, a full accounting of the physical culture of our portable sacred space in the wilderness. The prophetic readings paired with the weekly Torah readings amplify the descriptions of the richly textured but makeshift place for the Divine among us, the mishkan or Tabernacle,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Adina Allen

Nurturing Art: The Sacred Work of Creativity

Parshat Tetzaveh Exodus 27:20-30:10 Walk into any room of adults and tell them they are going to engage with art materials or explore a topic through creativity—immediately, most people in the room tense up. They turn to each another and say, in nervous voices and muffled tones,: “I could never color inside the lines”, “I failed art in kindergarten”, “my sister got all the creative genes”, “you don’t want me… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah jordan-braunig

Making Space for the Divine—And Each Other

Parshat Terumah, Exodus 25:1 – 27:19 “We have lived in our apartment for 17 years. My parents lived here. Now, my family lives here. Our landlords have given us 90 days to vacate. No conversation. No negotiation. A letter.” This was the testimony of a 30-something man, accompanied by his wife and mother, at a community meeting hosted by City Life/Vida Urbana in Boston. There were many heads nodding in… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Time to Teach

Parshat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1-24:18 Last week, my daughter and three of her friends spoke to a group of aspiring rabbis and cantors about issues of mental health and spiritual wellbeing among teens. It was a rare opportunity for a roomful of adults to simply listen and learn from teenagers, who were thoughtful, reflective, and remarkably honest about their inner lives – and willing to share what they want from the adults in… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Lehmann

Many Covenantal Paths: Catholic and Jewish Partnership

Parshat Yitro, Exodus 18:1-20:23 In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Yitro—named for Moses’ father-in-law—Jethro (Yitro in Hebrew) is described first as a priest of Midian, and only after that as the father of Moses’ wife. The beginning of the parasha introduces us to two religious leaders who model the way different religious communities can appreciate God’s covenantal relationship with the other. Jethro says, “Blessed be the Lord who delivered you… Read Article →