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Exodus (Shmot)

Vaera 5778 – Lessons from a Birmingham Jail

January 16, 2018
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fifty-five years ago this April, Martin Luther King, Jr., was sitting in a jail cell in Birmingham. King was from Atlanta; some questioned “what’s this outsider doing in Birmingham?” King’s response, in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” was: I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the...
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Terumah 5776 – God’s Presence and the Western Wall

February 11, 2016
Jerusalem's Western Wall

Make a sanctuary for me that I may dwell among them.  Exodus 25:8 I went to the Western Wall this morning (Wednesday, February 10, 2016) to welcome the new Jewish month (Adar), to support my daughter who is active with Women of the Wall, and to pray. I had a hard time praying this...
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Shemot 5776 – There arose a new king…

January 1, 2016
Pharaoh

Very early in this week’s Torah reading we have an ominous line: There arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph (Exodus 1:8) It’s one of my screenwriter wife’s favorite lines in the entire Torah. There are few better example of foreshadowing in literature. You read that line and you just know...
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Bo 5775 – Come to Pharaoh

January 23, 2015
Bo 5775 – Come to Pharaoh

And the Lord said to Moses: Come to Pharaoh…”  Exodus 10:1 This week’s Torah ready, parshat Bo, takes its name from the word “Bo,” which means “come” in the opening verse. It’s curious phrasing, and as non-standard in Hebrew as it is in English.  Shouldn’t it say “Go to Pharaoh…” ?  Why does God...
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Pekudei 5774 – Advice for Hadassah

February 28, 2014
Pekudei 5774 – Advice for Hadassah

The Hadassah Medical Center at Ein Kerem is widely considered to be the best hospital in Israel, and is often called the best hospital in the entire Middle East. Modern facilities with the latest technologies. A sparkling new hospital tower that is truly state of the art. World-class medical personnel. Our youngest daughter was...
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Mishpatim 5774 – Do it because you love me

January 24, 2014
Mishpatim 5774 – Do it because you love me

 “And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, All that the Lord has said will we do, and hear/understand/obey.” …Exodus 24:7 A few years ago, I started my ruminations on this phrase in this week’s parsha with the question “Is it...
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