Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Elul 21, 5774
YITRO, Exodus, 18:1-20:23
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, JE Feature
This week's portion, Yitro, which is named after an elder who was not a Jew, includes the first recitation of the Ten Commandments. Throughout the centuries, Jews have debated how Moses' father-in-law Yitro, or Jethro, came to be identified with the first articulation of the basic laws that have guided so many for so long. Jethro joins Moses, Aaron and...
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Beshalach, Exodus 13:17-17:16
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
Geometry tells us that the shortest path between two points is a straight line. A glance at the geography of the Mideast shows us that the quickest route from the fertile plains of northern Egypt to Israel follows the Mediterranean shore. But this week's Torah portion opens with a curious detail: Instead of seeking the fastest way out of a...
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BO, Exodus 10:1-13:16
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
This week's portion continues the story of Moses and Aaron's negotiations with Pharaoh to free the Israelite people. The brothers return to Pharaoh again and again, each time threatening another plague: locusts, darkness -- and finally, the slaying of the first born. Each time, just as Pharaoh relents a little bit more, God hardens Pharaoh's heart, and he refuses to...
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VAERA, Exodus 6:2-9:35
By:
Rabbi Howard A. Addison
Once, two men were negotiating the sale of a mule. The seller claimed that the animal was hardworking and obedient. Two weeks later, the buyer, now irate, summoned the mule's former owner. "You lied to me! This beast is lazy and uncooperative. I can't get him to budge." Grinning, the seller whacked the donkey across the backside with a 2x4...
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SHEMOT, Exodus 1:1-6:1
By:
Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell
This year, our reading of Sh'mot coincides with the first full week of the new secular year. Both this portion and this new year remind us of the teaching of Proverbs 31:25: valor, true strength, includes looking to the future with optimism and hope. How can we apply that sense of calm to the challenging story that is presented by...
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