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Torah Commentary Blog

Parashat B'haalot'cha (June 6, 2015)
by Sherry Nehmer


Once my brother threw a staff on the earth
and God turned it into a snake. Once my brother
put his hand inside his cloak and God turned it white
like hoarfrost in the cold desert shadows. Once
I groused that my brother gets all the attention
(he speaks for God; he married the most beautiful woman
any of us had ever seen, then ignored her
because God was more important) and God turned me
white as my brother’s arm. Does that mean I too
am an instrument of God's will, set apart wholly?

THESE LINES ARE part of a septet of poems about Moses’s sister, Miriam, written by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. A poet as well as a scholar, Rabbi Barenblat (who has a wonderful blog called “The Velveteen Rabbi”) invests her writings with personal, as well as cerebral and religious interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. Her poetry is lovely and thought-provoking, and I’m delighted to call her a friend of mine.

Continue reading Sherry’s commentary »

Torah Commentary
This really resonates with me. My father, whom I adored, was a middle
child. During the Great Depression, my grandparents helped both of their
sons make ends meet, but my uncle received an "allowance" and my
father got the same amount as a "salary" for keeping their
finances in order. I think my grandmother realized how unjust this was, 
because when I, the youngest grandchild, was born, she said to my father,
"This one will always be special, because she is yours." Finally,
my father -- who had never questioned his parents' favoritism -- was
rewarded! Great commentary -- it makes one think!

bjeis - June 1st

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