• Terumah’s Rules for Radicals

    As we move into the second month of the current presidential administration, it has become readily apparent to those of us engaged in the struggle for justice, equality, and human dignity that this will not be a quick or easy battle. These fights are always hard, and long, and come with a dozen defeats before they…
  • Laws of Compassion

    This summer in Israel/Palestine, I visited several Bedouin communities. At Al Araqib I marched with the women and girls of the village—which the IDF has leveled more than 100 times in the last six years—from one of its hastily re-erected gathering spaces, across the desert hills, under the hot summer sun, to a building in which…
  • PREPARE

    This is God's message for the people before they are to experience the awesome Presence at the mountain: "Lekh el-ha'am v'kidashtam hayom umakhar…" Go to the people and sanctify them.  The exact meaning and practice of this sanctification is not explained.  Some commentators, such as Rashbam and Ibn Ezra, see it as purification and read some…
  • Singing at the Sea, Planting on the Mountain

    “Shabbat Shirah” is so-named because its reading contains Shirat Ha-Yam, the Song of the Sea. In biblical Hebrew, the word shirah usually denotes a poem rather than music or strophic song in its commonly-known modern Hebrew sense. Many congregations use this opportunity to create special musical programming, taking the latter translation of “Shabbat of Song.” Alas,…