Weekly Parsha


"Birah Doleket"

Monday night, I saw Ani DiFranco in concert. For those of you who don’t have lyrics from “If He Tries Anything” as your yearbook quote, she’s a folk rock singer-songwriter whose powerful lyrics about feminism, abortion rights, and fighting oppression have buoyed many Gen X and elder Millennial feminists. She was like a beloved older cousin who taught me that being fierce, feminist, and angry were a-okay – and, in fact, that anger was an appropriate response to the world around me. The last time I saw her live was in 2004......

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Sukkot and a New Ecosystem of Jewish Leadership

A teaching from Sukkot merits our attention. Amid the building of huts and the welcoming of guests, the gathering of four different flora offers a powerful image about Jewish community and its leadership today. Those who have shaken the Lulav and Etrog may remember the four species of plant celebrated during the harvest holiday: etrog, palm, myrtle, and willow. Each one is of symbolic significance, notably about the kinds of people who reside within Israel. According to the Midrashic commentary, Vayikra Rabbah, the etrog holds both flavor and scent, symbolically pointing to the......

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God, Our Mother Eagle

Bald eagles are everywhere in my Pacific Northwest region. On my street, brave eagles try (unsuccessfully) to eat baby crows. Just across the river, eagle couples nest in the high trees. In winter, migratory eagles feast on dying salmon. In summer, resident eagles party at the landfill. Still, I never get tired of eagles. When I see one soar, my own soul soars. My mood lifts, and I feel a hint of God’s presence. The Torah ends and begins with the image of God as an eagle. It’s there in Moses’ last......

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How Long-Term Should Our Vision Be?

Recently, California announced that it will not sell gasoline-based cars starting in 2035. Like many political decisions surrounding climate change, it’s a decision that looks to help those that will come decades or centuries from now. So naturally, there is some pushback. Part of the reason addressing climate change is so hard is that we humans tend to focus on the challenges that are right in front of us, both physically and temporally – when real people are in danger or in need (or, to be honest, even just “in want”) right......

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