Beth Sholom Congregation History
Beth Sholom Congregation Wedding Life Cycle Beth Sholom Congregation Life Cycle Beth Sholom Congregation Life Cycle

Tag Archives: Torah Byte

Bamidbar — Numbers 1:1 – 4:20

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Bamidbar Community building requires many relational building blocks for success. As we journey through the Book of Numbers this year, I am reflecting upon the lessons I learned with Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman (Oranim College of Education) during the Rabin Bay Area Leadership Mission to Israel. There are four tangible ways of measuring the intangibles of intentional […] http://bethsholomsf.org/bamidbar-numbers-11-420-2/ Continue Reading...

Behar / Bechukotai – Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Behar-Bechukotai “Sowing the seed, my hand is one with the earth. …Hungry and trusting, my mind is one with the earth. Eating the fruit, my body is one with the earth.“ Wendell Berry’s poem “Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer” asks us to consider how the farmer is like the farm. Similarly, the strong language […] http://bethsholomsf.org/behar-bechukotai-leviticus-251-2734/ Continue Reading...

Emor – Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Emor This week’s reading builds upon last week’s distinction between the Priestly Torah, which focuses on the priestly views of ritual (as distinct from those of the masses), and the Holiness Code, which interweaves the priestly elements of ritual with popular customs. What further distinguishes Chapters 21 and 22 of Leviticus from the rest of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/emor-leviticus-211-2423-2/ Continue Reading...

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

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_AchareiMot-Kedoshim In conversation with a Jewish artist, I recently 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/ Continue Reading...

Tazria / Metzora – Leviticus 12:1-15:33

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Tazria-Metzora Debate still abounds as to how best translate the key terms tumah and taharah — signatures of Leviticus (see, for example, Chapter 12). Purity and impurity? Ritual fitness or exclusion? Death and rebirth? I continue to return to the inspired translation of theologian Rachel Adler, who teaches that tumah and taharah are best rendered as […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tazria-metzora-leviticus-121-1533/ Continue Reading...

Tzav – Leviticus 6:1 – 8:36

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Tzav Leviticus is a challenging book to absorb. On one hand, many observant Jews the world over consider the Priestly tradition (as articulated throughout Leviticus) to be obsessed with time-conditioned commands that are far removed from our lived experience today. On the other hand, thanks to the biased scholarship of Julius Wellhausen, critical readers of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tzav-leviticus-61-836-2/ Continue Reading...

Vayikra – Leviticus 1:1-5:26

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_ParashatVayikra It was recently reported that some Bible teachers at a Californian Christian seminary cited the lack of recycling bins on campus as a pure expression of their faith – namely, that by using up resources as quickly as possible, they were hastening the coming of the Lord and the New Creation. With the rise of […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayikra-leviticus-11-526-2/ Continue Reading...

Pekudei – Exodus 38:21 – 40:38

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Pekudei 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...

Vayakhel — Exodus 35:1 – 38:20

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Vayakhel While participating on the Rabin Community Building Mission to Israel, I came to realize just how much community is founded upon shared values and built upon shared practice. On this mission, I learned from Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman from Oranim College in Eretz Yisrael, who taught that there are five lenses for measuring community building: (a) […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayakhel-exodus-351-3820-2/ Continue Reading...

Ki Tissa — Exodus 30:11 – 34:35

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_KiTissa “Literature, painting, and sculpture give material expression to all the spiritual concepts implanted in the depths of the human soul, and as long as even one line hidden in the depth of the soul has not been expressed outwardly, then it remains the task of art [avodat ha’umanut] to bring it out” (Rav Kook, Olat […] http://bethsholomsf.org/ki-tissa-exodus-3011-3435-2/ Continue Reading...