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Tag Archives: parsha

Ki Tetzei — Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19

German Jewish thinker Hannah Arendt once remarked: “Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.“ How do we discern the difference between hypocrisy and evil? And then how do we confront evil in life? For modern people, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/ki-tetzei-deuteronomy-2110-2519-2/ Continue Reading...

Michael Ross’ Bar Mitzvah

Shalom. My name is Michael Ross. I’m an eighth grader at The Brandeis School of San Francisco and I am becoming a bar mitzvah this Shabbat, 11 Elul 5777. A bit about me: I love to play the electric guitar, and have been taking music lessons at The Blue Bear School of Music for six […] http://bethsholomsf.org/michael-ross-bar-mitzvah/ Continue Reading...

Shoftim — Deuteronomy 16:18 – 21:9

“Justice, justice shall you pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:20) What does it take to pursue justice in an unjust world? I think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who commented that “human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shoftim-deuteronomy-1618-219-2/ Continue Reading...

Re’eh — Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17

American naturalist-poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once remarked, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.“ Emerson’s 1836 essay, Nature, expresses the belief that everything in our world – even a drop of dew – is a microcosm of the universe. This transcendentalist notion is not foreign to Judaism, especially its […] http://bethsholomsf.org/reeh-deuteronomy-1126-1617-2/ Continue Reading...

Ekev — Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25

William Shakespeare once wrote, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” If a beneficent Creator created the world, is it merely a question of thinking that accounts for why bad things happen to good people? We are disturbed by such moral calculus. This week’s reading of Parashat Ekev provides us […] http://bethsholomsf.org/ekev-deuteronomy-712-1125-2/ 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...

Pinhas — Numbers 25:10 – 30:1

“No matter how small a religion is, there will always be people within it who find some reason to break away and make it even smaller, a process that, of necessity, ultimately means conflict.“ This comment was offered by Reza Aslan, controversial sociologist of religion and host of Believer. So do we accept that belief […] http://bethsholomsf.org/pinhas-numbers-2510-301-2/ Continue Reading...

Shelach Lecha — Numbers 13:1 – 15:41

“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you are being watched and recorded.” This remark by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor who made headlines in 2013 when he leaked top secret information about NSA surveillance activities, is indeed curious – and it has theological implications. In a wired, connected world in […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shelach-lecha-numbers-131-1541/ Continue Reading...

Zoe & Hana Jaeger Skigen’s B’not Mitzvah

Shalom. Our names are Zoe and Hana Jaeger Skigen. We are twelve-year-old twins and we just finished Grade 7 at the Synergy School in San Francisco’s Mission District, where we also live. This Shabbat, June 17, we will become b’not mitzvah. We have spent our entire lives doing meaningful things together and the process of […] http://bethsholomsf.org/zoe-hana-jaeger-skigens-bnot-mitzvah/ Continue Reading...