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Tag Archives: theophany

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...

Simon Crosby’s Bar Mitzvah

Hello. My name is Simon Crosby. I’m in seventh grade at A.P. Giannini Middle School. I am in the school band, and I enjoy playing bassoon and trumpet. I also like soccer, disc golf, and tennis. I’m excited in both an excited way and a nervous way about my bar mitzvah. Preparing for my bar […] http://bethsholomsf.org/simon-crosbys-bar-mitzvah/ 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...

Vayeira — Genesis 18:12–2:24

To reach the place of infinite earthly delight – that is the true destination of almost any traveler. The essentials that were once needed for any journey and are nowadays taken for granted appear to be alluded to in this week’s reading. “Abraham planted a tamarisk [eshel] at Be’er Sheva and invoked the divine name there […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayeira-genesis-1812-224/ 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...

Mishpatim — Exodus 21:1–24:18

Consider this audacious claim: halacha is inextricably intertwined with Kabbalah or, put another way, the law is intertwined with mysticism. Could this really be so? Are there many areas of Jewish life in which kabbalistic practice entered mainstream halachic practice? If so, what effect might this reality have upon this week’s otherwise seemingly dry articulation […] http://bethsholomsf.org/mishpatim-exodus-211-2418-2/ Continue Reading...

Yitro — Exodus 18:1–20:23

Revelation marks a unique aspect of Judaism, and the modern German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig astutely noted that it exists in symbiotic relationship with Creation and Redemption. But what are the degrees and nuances of Revelation? Sinai may be Revelation’s apogee, but can we develop a deeper appreciation for its subtler nuances? Jewish liturgy suggests that […] http://bethsholomsf.org/yitro-exodus-181-2023-2/ 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...

Vayeira— Genesis 18:12–2:24

How many trials must we overcome in life? Abraham is said to have overcome ten trials. Notice the way language links them: “Go…to the land I shall show” (Genesis 12:1) to “Sacrifice your son on one of the mountains I shall show you” (Genesis 22:2). Clearly then, Lech Lecha last week is linked with Vayeira […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayeira-genesis-181-2224-2/ Continue Reading...

Va’et’hanan — Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11

What is empathy to you? German philosopher Theodor Lipps (1851–1914) often reflected on the quality of empathy, or Einfühlung, seeing it as a key to understanding our aesthetic experiences as well as the primary basis for recognizing each other as thinking, acting creatures. Lipps contends that empathy explains the felt immediacy of our aesthetic appreciation […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vaethanan-deuteronomy-323-711/ Continue Reading...