Laws, laws and more laws. But it’s a heck of a lot less boring when they’re read over an eight year old boy playing banjo like a you-know-what!
Just like it says: three ways to part the Red Sea aka Sea of Reeds. What’s your favorite miracle?
The Friday night blessing in traditional communities includes the phrase “may you be like Ephraim and Manasseh.” Here’s what I’m wondering: why do we mention Ephraim and Manasseh? I mean, most prayers mention Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…so what the heck are Ephraim and Mannaseh randomly doing in this prayer?
In Parsha Vayechi, Jacob “elevates” the status of Joseph’s sons to that of his sons, in effect, making Ephraim and Manasseh inheritors of the patriarchal lineage and an equal member of the Jewish clan. Traditional commentators say that Ephraim and Manasseh showed themselves worthy by being moral people in the land of Egypt, when they could have been all depraved …like Charlie Sheen!
But Robert Alter in The Five Books of Moses suggests something different. It is not so much that Ephraim and Manasseh were so special. Rather, it is because Reuben and Simeon were such failures, that in a sense, Joseph’s sons [Read more…]
There are lots of different ways we wrestle. Some of us wrestle with difficult decisions. Some of us wrestle with the weight of our family and our friends, and some of us wrestle in other ways. In this week’s Torah portion, Vayishlach, Jacob wrestles with a mysterious figure. Some say it was an angel. Some say it was God. Others say it was his brother Esau. We do know that after this event, Jacob’s name becomes Israel. Struggling changes us; sometimes it changes our very identity, just like it did for Jacob.
We all wrestle. And we all change. The question is: are you changing for better, or worse?
Judaism: the real Wrestlemania.
WOW…we are just SLAMMED over here in PunkTorah land. Circle Pit the Bimah was just released, and our vegan cookbook is flying off the virtual shelves for Passover (that’s what happens when you give something away for free). Not to mention two local grants we have received (more details to come) and a host of other exciting adventures that await us.
Problem is, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for Torah Video Mashup. At least not this week. So instead, we’re going all retro-rewind style with this old dvar Torah from back in the good old days.
So here’s the deal: if you consider yourself creative, love YouTube and want to volunteer at PunkTorah, consider becoming our Torah Video Mashup extraordinaire. You write the script, pick the videos from around the intertubes that best relates to the weekly Torah portion, and either you edit them together or give it to us to [Read more…]