Author Archives: Aryeh Bernstein

Economic Exploitation is Blasphemy: D’var Torah for Parashat Mishpatim 

Immediately on the heels of the sensational introduction to the Revelation at Sinai via the Ten Commandments, the Torah grounds those lofty principles into the nitty-gritty of civil law: this freedom thing is going to be real. That’s our parasha, … Continue reading

Shabbat: Radical Release from Control and Domination — D’var Torah for Parashat Yitro

This week, we make it official. After the desert adjustment period of acculturation and habituation to some tastes of commandments in last week’s parasha, this week, we come to Mt. Sinai, with clouds, thunder, lightning, mixed-up senses, and fearful preparation, … Continue reading

Speaking, Naming and Celebrating the Component Parts of Liberation: D’var Torah for Parashat VaEira

Movement work is hard. Paths to possible victories pass through certain defeats. It is impossible to do the work of justice and liberation without bouts of debilitating self-doubt and glimpses over the precipice of despair, when we think we’re not … Continue reading

There’s a Riot Goin’ On: Talking about Violence and Power, Part II: D’var Torah for Parashat VaYehi

“Shim‘on and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence their trade” (Bereishit/Genesis 49:5). Four weeks ago, in Parashat VaYishlah, we read of Shim‘on and Levi’s premeditated massacre of all men of the town of Shekhem in order to rescue their sister … Continue reading