Tag Archives: dvar torah

A Time for Obedience, A Time for Spontaneity: Why did Nadav and Avihu Die? D’var Torah for Parashat Shemini

The last two shabbatot were filled with so much excitement, through our annual Pesach excursion into the exodus story, that we may forget that when last we left our regular, weekly journey through the Torah, we left on one of … Continue reading

Singing Each Other to Freedom from the Trapped Cleft of the Rock: D’var Torah for the Last Days of Pesach

This Shabbat is also the 7th day of Pesach, which, in addition to being the end of the Biblically-mandated, seven-day, “Festival of Matzot”, is also the date, according to Rabbinic tradition, of the Israelites’ crossing of the Sea of Reeds, … Continue reading

You Must Testify, but if You Snitch, You’re Excommunicated — D’var Torah, Parashat VaYikra

What is a citizen’s duty in upholding a responsible, criminal justice system? Our parasha addresses that question head-on with a seemingly clear commandment: “Any person who sins, having heard a public imprecation and is a witness, having seen or known, … Continue reading

Mirrors in the Mishkan: Centering the Tools of the Marginalized — D’var Torah, Parashat VaYakhel-Pekudei

This week’s double-parasha is a verbose carnival of the mundane in service of the spectacular, of the grind of minutia in service of liberation. The Israelites bring abundant raw materials and the gifted artisans guide the construction of God’s traveling … Continue reading

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