Both American and Israeli politics find themselves in a malaise of late. More and more, we feel trapped in situations beyond our control. These confined, narrow places further incur heavy penalties on a regular basis. Exiting from them seems equally or more terrifying as we imagine the outcomes of leaving.
Pharaoh is a frightening villain precisely because his motives are so understandable, his actions so human. Among Biblical characters, Haman can’t hold a candle to Pharaoh. His motives are cartoonish. He decides to kill the Jews because Mordecai refuses to bow before him. His downfall similarly is farcical as Esther tricks him in the finest … Continue reading The Pharaoh Within
My daughter Maytal studied all about Dr. King and the civil rights struggle on a kindergarten level this past week. She came home with a lot of good information, but one key five year old mistake. We were walking home on Shabbat and she said, “It’s a good thing we don’t have dark skin because … Continue reading Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel: A Story of Exodus
Hanukkah is relatively unique because its core is a military victory. The story of Hanukkah is a story of people who take up arms against their oppressors. They do so for religious and political freedom. The Maccabees wanted political independence from Greek Syria and they wanted the right to serve Hashem. Other celebrations, like Pesach … Continue reading Light a Candle
Last Shabbat, I spoke about the Conservative Movement’s debate over homosexuality. Due to the gravity of the decision, and to the requests made for a synopsis of that discussion, I would like to summarize what I said this week for CyberTorah.