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Tag Archives: Exodus

Beraysheet — Genesis 1:1 – 6:8

“Living God and Master of the Universe on high and dwelling in eternity, His name holy and He is sublime and created His world out of three words: sefer, sfar, sippur – letter, limit, and tale.“ So begins the ancient treatise, Sefer Yetzirah, which focuses on sound and its magical capacity for “making” and “world […] http://bethsholomsf.org/beraysheet-genesis-11-68-2/ Continue Reading...

Sukkot, Day Three — Exodus 33:12 – 34:26

This Shabbat occurs during Sukkot, and we will be reading a special Sukkot selection from the Book of Exodus. The reading provides us with an opportunity to consider the role of strangers in our lives, especially during this time of heightened “othering” in the political and social arenas. Atop Mount Sinai, Moses is famously granted […] http://bethsholomsf.org/sukkot-day-three-exodus-3312-3426/ Continue Reading...

Va’et’hanan — Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11

How does empathy resonate with you? American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson once remarked that, “Humans aren’t as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vaethanan-deuteronomy-323-711-2/ Continue Reading...

Matot / Massei — Numbers 30:2 – 36:13

Parashat Matot The final of the four tangible ways of measuring the intangibles of intentional community that I learned with Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman (Oranim College of Education) during the Rabin Bay Area Leadership Mission to Israel is Meaningfulness: “My uniqueness is an important resource and influence for the group.” As we read this week in […] http://bethsholomsf.org/matot-massei-numbers-302-3613/ Continue Reading...

Pekudei – Exodus 38:21 – 40:38

As we close the Book of Exodus, let us return to the challenge posed to our assumptions about the myth of the return of religion by philosopher Peter Sloterdijk in You Must Change Your Life (2014). Recall that Sloterdijk argues that it is not religion that is returning, but a mode in which humans are […] http://bethsholomsf.org/pekudei-exodus-3821-4038-2/ Continue Reading...

Tetzaveh — Exodus 27:20–30:10

Kenneth Cole, celebrated fashion designer and former congregant of mine in New York, once remarked: “Look good, for good.“ To outfit spiritual change, all priests or kohanim wear: (1) a full- length linen tunic [ketonet]; (2) linen breeches [michnasayim]; (3) a linen headdress, or turban [mitznefet]; and (4) a long, waist sash [avnet]. To manifest […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tetzaveh-exodus-2720-3010-2/ Continue Reading...

Beshalach — Exodus 13:17–17:16

Are miracles possible? While the renowned medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides downplayed miracles as momentary exceptions when supernaturalism erupts into the dominant naturalism scripted by the Creator, one of our great modern thinkers, Abraham Joshua Heschel, sought to reclaim miracles as daily moments of radical amazement. However we define miracles, we must confront them this week […] http://bethsholomsf.org/beshalach-exodus-1317-1716-2/ Continue Reading...

Bo — Exodus 10:1–13:16

“No more exploitation of the weak, racial discrimination, or ghettoes of poverty! Never again!“ So declared Pope John Paul II in 1999. He called for a different way of living in keeping with his religious ideals, and he argued that the Church should not achieve these goals through partisan politics or by revolutionary violence. The […] http://bethsholomsf.org/bo-exodus-101-1316-2/ Continue Reading...

Shemot — Exodus 1:1-6:1

As we open the Book of Exodus – which describes the founding of a nation and a collective religion we today call Judaism – let us consider the challenge that philosopher Peter Sloterdijk poses to our assumptions about the myth of religion’s return in recent decades. In You Must Change Your Life (2014), Sloterdijk argues […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shemot-exodus-11-61-2/ Continue Reading...

Vayekhi — Genesis 47:28–50:26

Confronting our own mortality can often give rise to unseen blessings in our lives and the lives of those we love. At the close of Genesis, during Jacob‘s final hours, he conducts a stocktaking of his children, the twelve tribes of Israel. On his deathbed, Jacob announces: “…I am now old, and I do not […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayekhi-genesis-4728-5026-2/ Continue Reading...