Entries for June 2013

Pinchas: Exercising our Privilege

Pinchas: Exercising our Privilege
(Given at Kehillat Moreshet Yisrael, Jerusalem) A few years ago, I read an “historical novel” by Howard Fast called My Glorious Brothers.  Its narrator – Simon ben Mattathias – tells how his father killed a man to prev... Continue Reading »

Balak: Better Depressed Than Dead!

Balak: Better Depressed Than Dead!
In this week’s Torah portion, King Balak of Moab hires the prophet Balaam to: “Come, curse Jacob for me and come invoke wrath against Israel.”  Balaam describes Israel as “a nation that will dwell alone, and will not be r... Continue Reading »

Chukat: Moses was Here!(?)

Chukat: Moses was Here!(?)
The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh. … The congregation had no water; so they assembled against Moses and Aaron.  (Numbers 20:1-2). &... Continue Reading »

Jefferson and Korach: Is Rebellion "Good for the Jews?"

Jefferson and Korach: Is Rebellion "Good for the Jews?"
Discussing Shay’s Rebellion (an armed insurrection by Western Massachusetts farmers) in a 1787 letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson wrote: Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.  (‘I prefer the tumult of l... Continue Reading »

He who guards his mouth preserves his life
Proverbs 13:3