Joseph, the first politician of the bible
Before Joseph, our biblical heroes were heads of the family, clan leaders, or powerful men because of their wealth and wisdom but never politicians. Joseph is, in my opinion, the first politician in the Bible. A politician in the noble sense of the word: a servant of the […]
Parashat Vayeshev – Joseph and David Bowie z”l – We Could be Heroes.
It’s Hanukkah soon, so I thought… Why don’t we treat ourselves a little?!
There is something so rock’n’roll about the Torah. If we want to look at it this way, there are lots of parallels we can draw.
From Adam and Eve to Noah… […]
What does it mean to be whole?
Jacob struggles all night with an angel and emerges with a hip injury and a limp. He prepares for a possibly nasty encounter with his estranged brother Esau which he lubricates with extravagant gifts. Things go well, and the brothers part on civil terms.
And Jacob arrived safe [shalem] […]
Image credit: Brenda Anderson
Speckled sheep and Jewish children
The world used to have some very strange ideas about reproduction. Pliny the Elder wrote about how baby bears are born in the wrong shape and have to be licked into bear-shape by their mothers; it was commonly believed that fleas were ‘born’ from dust; and […]
Since the Pittsburgh shooting there is an image that’s been haunting me, the famous painting ‘The Scream’ by the Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch. At times there are no words to describe what we feel, and our grief and anger are so deep that they can only be expressed through a big scream.
Chayyei Sarah – Responses to Tragedy
An article written in 2012 by Rachel Rettner discusses how a community goes through ‘stages of recovery’ after a trauma, that are akin to the ‘five stages of grief’ that an individual mourner experiences after the death of a loved one. First there are outpourings of grief and talk […]
Parashat Vayeira: What about Abraham’s daughter?
“And when his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God had commanded him”. – Genesis 21:4
This week’s Torah portion Vayeira is one of the richest narrative portions of the Torah. In a mere five chapters we learn about: Abraham’s encounter with three divine envoys; the […]
‘A Traveling Homeland’ – this is the name of Daniel Boyarin’s book. He refers to the phrase ‘Lech Lecha’ to say the following:
‘The biblical story is not one of a person who is born from the land but one of always already coming from somewhere else.”
Paraphrasing Boyarin, the key value of the Jewish people […]