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Tag: Moses

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  • On Shavuot, reconsidering the origins of the Torah

    May 28, 2014 | 10:27 am

    Is the Torah true? 

    The story itself is pure Hollywood (and yes, there have been a few movies): God sends a messenger to free a group of slaves from the superpower of the time, Egypt. When Pharaoh says no, plagues rain down from heaven until he finally relents. The slaves leave...

  • From Pharaoh to Freud: The Bible’s Ultimate Id

    By Jared Sichel

    April 17, 2014 | 10:23 am

    It's up there in the annals of stupidity.

    God had just undone Egyptian society with 10 devastating plagues, striking at the heart of Egypt's various nature gods. Water turned to blood. Animals turned against humans. Light stopped working. Pharaoh's Egyptian experiment, for all...

  • The covenant of the calf: Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35)

    February 12, 2014 | 5:01 pm

    If the word of God, engraved in stone, can crumble as easily as bread; if God’s voice, chiseled in rock, can shatter like a pitched dinner plate; if the children of Israel can cast off their heavenly covenant with a casualness not unlike the unclasping of an earring or a necklace;...

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  • Biblical numbers, mathematics and attributed patriarchal ages

    By Roger Price

    November 13, 2013 | 12:49 pm

         The Hebrew Bible is filled with numbers. There are different kinds of numbers -- cardinals and ordinals, integers and fractions, even primes. And they are everywhere in the Torah text.

         There are numbers for days and numbers for life spans.

         There are numbers for...

  • Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier meets with Pope Francis

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    October 25, 2013 | 10:56 am

    In a private audience with Pope Francis on Oct. 24, Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), urged the leader of the Catholic Church to confront the evil that exists in the world, even while praying and working for peace.

    “Evil existed during the...

  • Reboot unscrolls a modern take on Torah

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 23, 2013 | 11:36 am

    Reboot, the highly selective Jewish think-tank that invites “young, Jewishly unconnected cultural creatives” to imagine ways of modernizing and revitalizing Jewish tradition, has unfurled its latest effort with “Unscrolled,” a compendium of divrei Torah written by popular artists...

  • Atheism, mysticism and ladders

    By Rabbi Mordecai Finley

    September 16, 2013 | 6:41 pm

    I had a new insight about atheism this week.

    Though my ongoing studies of Chasidism, I am encountering again a refutation of the supposed opposition of philosophy and mysticism. Moses Maimonides, the greatest Jewish philosopher, who is understood rather firmly as being shaped by...

  • Remember to forgive yourself

    September 11, 2013 | 3:33 pm

    Every year on Yom Kippur, Jews in synagogues all over the world engage in a communal chest-beating during the Vidui, to repent, symbolically, for our collective sins. But what about the sin of being too hard on ourselves? As the High Holy Days approach once again, it seems logical...

  • Letters to the Editor: Nelson Mandela, Israel, settlements

    July 2, 2013 | 2:44 pm

    Mandela Just a Man, Not Another Moses

    I realize that Americans love heroes, and journalists love to serve them up, but Nelson Mandela as another Moses (“Mandela/Moses,” June 28)? 

    Unlike Moses, Mandela could go to Israel any time he wanted, although Jews may not enter Muslim...

  • Finding Light Amidst Darkness - D’var Torah Pinchas

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 28, 2013 | 6:29 am

    How to read the story of Pinchas, a shatteringly brutal tale of love and violence? That is the question in this week’s Torah portion, especially for the modern Jew?

    The story begins this way:

    “Now YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Pinchas, son of Elazar son of Aaron the priest, has...

  • Sinai and American Efforts for Peace - D’var Torah Hukat

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    June 14, 2013 | 9:22 am

    In this week’s Torah portion Hukat, Miriam dies and the people complain bitterly that there’s no water (Numbers 20:3-5). God tells him to take his rod and order the rock to produce water. But Moses, old and weary, instead of ordering the rock, strikes it with his rod. Though the...

  • The Divine Wedding and Kiss - Parashat Naso

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    May 16, 2013 | 4:34 pm

    “O for your kiss! For your love / More enticing than wine, / For your scent and sweet name – For all this they love you.

    Take me away to your room, / Like a king to his rooms – / We’ll rejoice there with wine. / No wonder they love you!”

    Song of Songs 1:2-4 - Translation by...

  • Weeklong event explores Judaism and wellness

    By Rachel Heller

    April 18, 2013 | 1:56 pm

    When Rabbi Laura Geller learned that her father had Alzheimer’s disease, she struggled with the news. He was only in his 70s, after all, and it was painful for her to watch the man who had raised her — who she said had been “important and powerful and wonderful” in her life — lose...

  • The chametz within

    March 28, 2013 | 8:17 am

    Rejoice! Spring has arrived, and Pesach is here. The time of our liberation is at hand. The Exodus from our narrow straits is re-enacted once more.

    To be sure, Pesach is about history — the story of the children of Israel leaving the oppression of Egypt, freed into the wilderness...

  • New role for Moses

    By Tom Teicholz

    March 22, 2013 | 10:55 am

    For Passover this year, Rizzoli has just released “The Bronfman Haggadah,” written by the businessman, philanthropist and Jewish community leader Edgar Bronfman Sr., illustrated by artist Jan Aronson, who is also Bronfman’s wife. Unlike other haggadot, this version includes the...

  • Nachshon Ben Aminadav - A Hero For All Times

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 22, 2013 | 6:10 am

    Nothing in the Seder is as it appears. Each symbol, midrash, vignette, poem, and song evokes layers of meaning that help fashion the Jewish heart, mind and soul. The Seder carries such deep religious, cultural, moral, historical, and political significance that Passover is among...

  • Seder Night

    By Emily Stern

    March 21, 2013 | 3:54 pm

    you are the child moses
    you are the river in red.
    the scared child is a myth
    the child within
    you are the child moses and
    will soon be free and dreamy
    follow him.

  • Four questions of Miriam

    March 21, 2013 | 4:24 am

    The name “Miriam” stems from the Hebrew word for “bitter” (mar), and Miriam has every right to feel that way. 

    “Miriam who?” you might ask?

    My point exactly.

    I’m talking about the biblical Israelite heroine and prophetess, without whom Moses never would have been born and the...

  • What we need now: Jewish leadership driven by ethical imperatives

    by Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi

    March 18, 2013 | 3:57 am

    Jewish leadership has a distinct advantage over all other kinds of leadership. Our advantage is that we are inspired by and can be driven by the ethical force of Jewish tradition. Our other advantage is that we can learn from many models of leaders who transformed societies and...

  • Bezalel - Master Architect of Sacred Space - Parashat Vayakhel-Pekude

    By Rabbi John Rosove

    March 7, 2013 | 10:51 am

    This week we learn about Bezalel, the man chosen to design and build the Tabernacle that carried the tablets of the law that Moses brought down from Sinai. (Exodus 38:22-39:31)

    On the face of it, these verses describe the matter-of-fact building of a physical edifice. But this...

  • What do I think about Zionism as a Turkish Muslim?

    March 5, 2013 | 11:55 am

    For the last couple of years — and especially the last couple of days — my Jewish friends all over the world have expressed their concern whether anti-Semitism is on the rise in Turkey. First of all Turkey has a population over 70 million. There is a great deal of diversity and...

  • Super Pacs, Democracy, and This Imperfect Union

    By Aryeh Cohen

    February 15, 2013 | 7:39 am

    The practice of democracy, the practice by which we may form a more perfect union, is not that different from the practice by which we try to move in deliberate but halting steps toward a more just world that embraces the presence of God. The practice of democracy does not begin at...

  • A Reflection on Responsibility

    By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

    February 10, 2013 | 6:36 pm

    Responsibility is one of the most important midot (character traits) to cultivate in one’s soul. Acharayut (responsibility in Hebrew) comes from the root “acher” (other). To take responsibility means to cultivate the “ability” for response” to an “other.” This responsibility to...

  • Are you awake?

    January 9, 2013 | 11:47 am

    There is an old midrash to explain how Moshe discovered his Jewish identity and woke up to his calling as a teacher and prophet. Yocheved, Moshe’s mother, used to sing him lullabies and feed him familiar foods. As she weaned him and led him into the embrace of his surrogate family,...

  • Humility vs. humiliation

    By Ryan Torok

    December 6, 2012 | 11:51 am

    For much of his life, Rabbi Elijah Schochet disliked the idiom “God willing,” an expression used by people trying to convey that their lives are subject to God’s discretion.

    After Schochet was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a series of treatments at Cedars-Sinai Medical...

  • When Reiner met Moses

    By Danielle Berrin

    November 20, 2012 | 3:13 pm

    In the beginning, there was comedy.

    "Have you heard the one about two Jewish ladies sitting around in a restaurant, and the waiter comes up and says, ‘Is there anything all right?’” the multi-hyphenate filmmaker Rob Reiner asks the moment we sit down in a glass-enclosed cove...

  • The Torah and the JST: Pharaoh’s heart, Lot’s daughters, Noah’s altruism, and wicked witches

    By Mark Paredes

    September 24, 2012 | 7:36 pm

    Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. – Deuteronomy 4:2


    I thought of blogging on the LDS concept of atonement during Yom Kippur week, but given the...

  • Circumcise your hearts

    By Rabbi Dan Moskovitz

    August 8, 2012 | 11:59 am

    Consider the artichoke for a moment. It is an odd but instructive vegetable. An artichoke is prickly and surrounded by an armor of leaves protecting the soft center, the heart of the food. Boiling or steaming it loosens the protective leaves, permitting you to pick them off one by...

  • Rhyme and Reason

    By Rabbi Dov Fischer

    June 27, 2012 | 2:00 pm

    This week’s portion bears one of the Torah’s great enigmas. What exactly did Moshe Rabbeinu do that prompted God to bar him from crossing the Jordan into Israel?

    What was the infraction?

    Most students are taught that Moshe’s misfeasance was that he hit the boulder even though...

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