Angel for Shabbat

Worries about our Worrying: Thoughts on Parashat Beshallah

Angel for Shabbat, Parashat Beshallah

by Rabbi Marc D. Angel

 

Q. What is the text of an Emergency Alert sent out by a Jewish Organization?

A. Start worrying!  Details to follow.

 

This joke reflects an ongoing reality of Jewish life. There always seems to be something to worry about, some crisis that is about to erupt, some threat to our survival.  Even when we don't yet know the details, we are called upon to get into the worrying mode.

 

Outgrowing Slavery: Thoughts on Parashat Va-era

The experience of having been enslaved in Egypt had a profound impact on the future character of the people of Israel. The Torah reminds us to be compassionate to the stranger--for we were strangers in the land of Egypt. It commands us to treat others with kindness and humanity--because we had been treated with cruelty and inhumanity when we were slaves in Egypt.

Spiritual and Intellectual Friction: Thoughts for Parashat Beshallah

The leadership of Israel did not emerge among people who lived sheltered and insulated lives. Rather, it devolved specifically on Joseph and Moses who faced deep challenges and who had to experience conflicts with their fixed ways of seeing the world. The challenges stimulated them to think creatively and courageously.

Religion True and False: Thoughts for Parashat Yitro

A prevalent custom in Ashkenazic synagogues is for the congregation to stand when the Ten Commandments are read from the Torah. Among Sephardim, the widespread custom is to remain seated during the reading of the Torah, including during the recitation of the Ten Commandments. One should follow the custom of the synagogue which he/she attends.