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Tag Archives: religion

Acharei Mot / Kedoshim – Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27

In conversation with a Jewish artist, I once quipped that all artists must see their art as an offering to the Other Side. “What?!,” the artist exclaimed. In order to quell the energy of the negative forces in the universe, I explained, the mystical interpretation of many rituals, especially sacrifice, is understood as a way […] http://bethsholomsf.org/acharei-mot-kedoshim-leviticus-161-2027-2/ Continue Reading...

Social Divisions & Politics In Israel Recap

On Sunday, January 28, the Achshav Yisrael committee of Beth Sholom presented Social Divisions & Politics In Israel with Professor Michael Shalev, a visiting professor and political scientist at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. Professor Shalev explained that society in Israel is characterized by diversity, often superimposed on identity issues. How […] http://bethsholomsf.org/social-divisions-politics-in-israel-recap/ Continue Reading...

Yitro — Exodus 18:1–20:23

Whether we are reading The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, Beowulf, or La Chanson de Roland, we immediately recognize something all great works of literature tend to share in common — all mark out their protagonists as heroes from the outset. So who is the real hero in the Moses story? When we turn to […] http://bethsholomsf.org/yitro-exodus-181-2023-3/ Continue Reading...

Social Divisions & Politics In Israel

Buy your tickets for our upcoming Achshav Yisrael program! “Social Divisions & Politics In Israel” will take place on Sunday, January 28, 2018, 3 – 5 p.m., in Koret hall. Achshav Yisrael presents Professor Michael Shalev, a visiting professor and political scientist at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Jewish Law and Israel Studies. He is also […] http://bethsholomsf.org/social-divisions-politics-in-israel/ Continue Reading...

Bo — Exodus 10:1–13:16

Insofar as it relates to modern life, religious scholars have cast the role of ritual in a certain light, understanding how it forms and informs our human societies and cultures through that preferred lens. In her renowned study, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice (1992), the anthropologist of religion Catherine Bell challenges some of the assumptions that […] http://bethsholomsf.org/bo-exodus-101-1316-3/ Continue Reading...

Va’eira — Exodus 6:2-9:35

The self-revelation of the divine to Moses is a unique moment in our spiritual history and changes the face of monotheism forever. Emboldened and empowered, Moses and Aaron return before Pharaoh, demanding in the divine name, “Let my people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh’s recalcitrance leads to the moment […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vaeira-exodus-62-935-3/ Continue Reading...

Shemot — Exodus 1:1-6:1

To discover the nature of being human, there are those moments in life when you have to leave the known and venture into the unknown. The story is told about Prince Siddhartha who discovers the true nature of the human condition during an excursion outside the palace walls. In leaving the comfort of the palace, […] http://bethsholomsf.org/shemot-exodus-11-61-3/ 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...