All Toledot - Relationships - begin with our relationship with ourselves.
"A father of philosophy, the father of the Hebrews and his slave get together,,," sounds like the start of an ancient joke but read on...
It sounds quite nice, but I wonder whether Abraham had it easier than do we. He had a warning and a reason as well from the only reliable spiritual authority. God appeared to Abraham and told him that a storm was coming to Sodom because of her evil. As far as I know, God did not appear to anyone to warn that the East Coast would be punished for her 'evil'
God doesn't need a slave to order and say: Build an ark! He could have made it in a second. God desires a partner. It is up to us to rise to that role. Noah's greatness was that he figured it out.
We glorify God, not in numbers, but in expansiveness. We too, are bringing our First Fruits when we're not busy battling each other over what is ours or who speaks the truth. Our Bikkurim begin with affording room for people to explore and grow.
Once I learned to treat every person I meet as more than chance and as an opportunity, I was able to expand my collection of superheroes.
The primary quality of anyone judging another is that the judge first know how to judge himself. If he cannot honestly examine his own behavior, how can he possibly judge someone else's?
This week's portion, Re'ei, speaks of our need for a sense of place, how difficult it often is to find, and how we must protect others' sense of place. It also guides us in how to manage the experience of no place
I wish all of us, parents and teachers, would listen to everything our children ask and say. I dream of our hearing them so well that we can begin to visualize and relate to them as who they can be when they fulfill all their potential.
" Nachamu, Nachamu, is not a repetition, but a Song of Act Two--uf new beginnings and of hope.
The two and a half tribes--Rueben, Gad, and part of Menasseh-- listened to the accusations and realized that they were already being forgotten.
Having 'real' vision permits an entirely different, improved view of events and the world.
Balak was furious. Balaam was defeated in his mind by a greater prophet, Moses, who would record Balaam's words and shame for eternity, despite not being present at the performances. Rather than perform his blessings or curses, Balaam projected a picture of the future with his ideas in it; he offers his vision of the End of Days (14) with all his hints to Israel's future failings hidden within his words of praise.
It is impossible to be involved in life without somehow sensing endings. We need not be permanently scarred by our beginnings, nor scared of what seems to be the death of a relationship.
Displacement as motivation? Just ask Korach's sons.
Change is good; being a "Changer" is better.
Moses acted properly in his role of prophet but he failed in his role as a husband; he did not see Tziporah's suffering, her black cloud.
The magic of Sinai began when the people camped "with unified hearts and minds" facing Sinai. A single camp of shared purpose. I suspect that this is the message behind the Sages' teaching that Shabbat is the key to redemption: We do not share a common purpose other than a belief that the world can become a place of peace, a Shabbat world
"What's in a name?" Apparently, the essence of relationships...
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the teacher of the Zohar who we honor on Lag B'Omer, plants seeds of infinite growth in our minds so each of us can begin our time travel with Torah with a taste of her eternally expanding wisdom embedded in our souls
The true definition of holiness is to cross the boundary between heaven and earth. We are forbidden to combine species connecting their lowest common denominators, their purely earthly definitions. We are encouraged to make combinations that allow each world to meet beyond their highest common denominators so that, together, they can connect heaven and earth.
Chag Sameach-Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut and Shabbat Shalom
Our Matzah is not Shmurah if we are unconcerned with those who have nothing to eat, or no Seder to join.
Learning to give THANKS and preparing ourselves for Pesach.
We explore life through the lens of Torah through the entire year. Now that Pesach approaches, we pause and listen as this week we hear God's loving call as if For The First Time.