וְיֵעָשׂוּ כֻלָּם אֲגֻדָּה אֶחָת לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם

All shall unite to do God's will with an open heart.

וְיֵעָשׂוּ כֻלָּם אֲגֻדָּה אֶחָת לַעֲשׂוֹת רְצוֹנְךָ בְּלֵבָב שָׁלֵם

All shall unite to do God's will with an open heart.

18 09, 2023

Parashat Ha’azinu

By |2023-09-18T18:12:53-04:00September 18, 2023|

As we move from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, this week we read Parashat Ha’azinu, Moses’ farewell song. There are many fruitful portions of the parashah upon which to focus, but my attention immediately gravitates to the phrase וַיִּשְׁמַן יְשֻׁרוּן וַיִּבְעָט (“and Yeshurun grew fat and kicked”; Deut. 32:15).

8 05, 2023

Parashiyot Behar-Behukotai 5783

By |2023-06-01T10:56:55-04:00May 8, 2023|

The second of this week’s parashiyot, Behukotai, lists the various blessings in store for those who observe all of God’s commandments and enumerates the multitude of curses awaiting those who ignore or disobey. While the underlying theology, that our actions are the immediate catalyst for the good and bad we see in the world, may not resonate for some of us, I would like to focus on a different dimension of the correlation between our actions and a divine response.

“And if these things fail to discipline you for Me, and you remain hostile to Me, I too will remain hostile to you…” (Lev. 26:23-24).

God’s response to human hostility (קֶרִי) is divine hostility (קֶרִי). The quoted passage suggests, in rabbinic parlance, מידה כנגד מידה, “a measure for measure” response. The sense of commensurateness between deed, on the one hand, and reward or punishment, on the other, undergirds many approaches to Read More >

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