Shabbat Parshat Bo

Rabbi Bradley Artson
5765
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on January 15, 1980
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Immersed in the drama of liberating his enslaved people, Moses prepares to appear before Pharaoh, to insist that the Israelites be allowed to leave Egypt.  God instructs his servant, Moses, "Go to Pharaoh.  For I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his courtiers, in order that I may display these My signs among them..." Read more...

Compassion Is A Jewish Value

Rabbi Bradley Artson
5766
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on January 28, 1974
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
This week’s Torah portion lands us in the middle of a war between the God of the universe and the false deity, Pharaoh. Having enslaved the Jewish people, Pharaoh seeks to destroy their spirit by exhausting their bodies. Seeking a total control over their hearts and soul, the idolatry that Pharaoh seeks to impose comes at a very high cost indeed: His insistence that true power is ruthless, that supremacy is something to be imposed continues to rear its ugly head, continues to assault the biblical tradition and those who love it. Read more...

Standing On Holy Ground

Rabbi Bradley Artson
5759
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on January 27, 1964
Torah Reading
Every place is not the same.  Intuitively, we have a sense that there are distinctions of space that are just as fundamental to human identity as are distinctions in time.  When we enter the elevated vaults of a Gothic cathedral, marvel at the staggering beauty of the Grand Canyon, or shrink under the lofty heights of a New York skyscraper, we respond distinctly to different spaces.  Not all places are alike.  But is the distinction between one place and another something intrinsic to the place itself, or the result of perceiving different meanings in different places?  Would there be diffe Read more...

Bearing Fruit Even In Old Age

Rabbi Bradley Artson
5759
by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
posted on January 27, 1962
Most of our lives are darkened by the shadow of aging.  We mock the old, laughing at their physical condition, joking about being in wheel chairs, in old age homes, in hospital beds.  We associate the old with the incompetent, with a state of permanent boredom and irrelevance.  By bleaching our hair, lifting our faces, breasts and calves, sucking off our fat, and dressing in the gaudiest apparel possible, we hope to "stay young" forever. Read more...