Leaving – being in between – is central to the Jewish narrative. God may be the God of Israel, but we more often remember God as “Your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt.” This is a God who gives us a history of journeys, of exiles, and of diasporas. Our stories … Continue reading The Desert Law
Many of us, particularly people of talent and ability, need to be on their guard against the Moshe Rabbenu complex. The Moshe Rabbenu complex is the belief that everything depends on your own efforts. Without you, goes the thinking of those so afflicted, everything will fall apart. It is a few more hours, a little … Continue reading The Moshe Rabbenu Complex
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