Rabbi Wise’s Weekly Shabbat Message

  • Shabbat Toledot 5783
    This past Monday, we had the first topical session of our adult education class on Jewish ethics. Using the book Modern Musar: Contested Virtues in Jewish Thought, we explored a variety of attitudes in modern Jewish thought to the topic of honesty and love of truth. And the timing couldn’t have been better, since this is ...
  • Shabbat Hayei-Sarah 5783
    Long before When Harry Met Sally became an American classic, the Torah has another story of a couple’s first encounter. This week, near the end of Parshat Hayei-Sarah, Rivkah meets Yitzhak. And she has quite the reaction when she does. Or does she?   Where Yitzhak, wandering in the field just before nightfall, sees camels, Rivkah sees a man. What ...
  • Shabbat Vayera 5783
    As I mentioned on Rosh Hashanah, I’m engaged daily in the 929 Project, a journey through the entire Hebrew Bible, all 929 chapters of it. Today’s chapter, Joshua 13, seems especially timely on the cusp of Veterans Day. The chapter comes after a summary of the conquests of 31 kings and city-states under Joshua’s military ...
  • Shabbat Bereshit 5783
    In English, the expression is “saving the best for last.” In Hebrew, it would be “aharon aharon haviv.” We humans like this idea, since we are the final element of the first creation story in Genesis 1. After God gives the universe order and structure, after the sun, moon, and stars have been set in ...
  • Shabbat Hol HaMo’ed Sukkot 5783
    In keeping with our custom to explore a chapter of Kohelet, Ecclesiastes, on Sukkot, I tried making sense of chapter 6 of this Biblical scroll. When I read the last verse of the chapter, I felt that the text was “throwing shade” at me. Do you know that expression? The urban dictionary defines it as “acting ...
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