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Ki Tisa

Posted on February 18th, 2019

Exodus 30:11−34:35

By Rabbi Sarah Bassin for ReformJudaism.org


Can We Have a Relationship with God?

 

We Jews are good at a lot of things. Talking about God is not one of them. I would even venture to guess that some of us are grateful that our prayers are in Hebrew, so we don’t have to think too hard about what it is that we’re actually saying about God.

It’s less complicated to articulate what we don’t believe. As one of my rabbinic colleagues often tells congregants, “I don’t believe in the same God that you don’t believe in.”

Continue reading.
 

Tetzaveh

Posted on February 11th, 2019

Exodus 27:20–30:10

By Rabbi Sarah Bassin for ReformJudaism.org

 

High Moral Standards for Our Leaders, and Ourselves

We all know the danger of turning people into symbols. Every one of us has our own story of a hero who let us down: when we learned a favorite athlete doped his way to victory, how we unknowingly laughed at the comedy of a rapist, or when we supported a politician who only feigned monogamy. We barely find ourselves shocked by these examples anymore.

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Terumah

Posted on February 4th, 2019

Exodus 25:1–27:19

By Rabbi Sarah Bassin for ReformJudaism.org

The Limits of Communication

As with any good architectural design, this Torah portion offers precise instructions. Parashat T’rumah lays out a manual for building our place of worship in the desert (known as the Mishkan) along with all of the instruments contained within. It details exact measurements, materials, and methods of construction. The instructions were intended to be foolproof and impossible to misinterpret. But there appears to be some daylight between the original concept and the final product — at least with one very important element: the menorah.

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