Angel for Shabbat

A Thinking Judaism: Thoughts for Parashat Mishpatim

This week's Torah portion begins with God commanding Moses : "And these are the ordinances that you shall set before them." Rashi comments that God instructed Moses not to teach the Israelites by rote, but to explain the reasons for the laws. If the people had the opportunity to study the reasons behind the laws, they would more likely internalize and fulfill them.

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.