Covenant and Choice

Headshot of Rabbi Adam Greenwald
5773
by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on February 9, 1988
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Maftir Reading
At the foot of a desert mountain, more than three thousand years ago, our People entered into an everlasting covenant. While Sinai smoked and flashed with lightening, God and Moses proclaimed laws to all the Israelites, who called back as one declaring "All that God commands, we will do." (Exodus 24:3). Our Sages teach that this moment was akin to a marriage ceremony, eternally binding God and the Jewish People in a partnership that encompasses all future generations. Read more...

The Secret of Righteousness

Headshot of Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
5771
by Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
posted on October 20, 1985
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
So how did Abraham become Abraham? How did Sarah become Sarah? We know that both Abraham and Sarah were "human, all too human." Their faults are on prominent display in this week's Torah portion. Abraham hides behind Sarah when they go down to Gerar, in order to save himself. Sarah demands that Hagar, the maidservant, mother of Abraham's first child (at Sarah's behest), be banished-and Abraham acquiesces to Sarah's demand. As a result of the expulsion Hagar and Ishmael almost die. Finally, Abraham almost slays Isaac on the altar. Read more...

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...