Thursday, April 17, 2014 Nisan 17, 5774
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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VAYEHI, Genesis 47:28-50:26
By:
Rabbi Joshua Runyan
It's happened to practically all of us: Some days, it seems as if nothing is going your way. For most people, the natural response is to get angry. The Torah, however, teaches that anger is better left by the wayside. If anybody had a right to hold a grudge, it was Joseph. In a short span of time, he goes...
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VAYIGASH, Genesis 44:18-47:27
By:
Rabbi Danielle Stillman
As Reconstructionist Jews often say, following the thought of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, we are living in two civilizations: American and Jewish. This is most apparent during the "holiday season" that we are in the thick of right now. It can feel strange to be drawing up a set of New Year's resolutions for Jan. 1, when we have so recently...
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