As completely absent of goodness and holiness as war is, afterward, we must remember that all humans are infused with divinity. All sides are the children of God. As Deuteronomy teaches, the bodies of the deceased must be taken down and buried - in this case, an upright burial with stones. After the chaos, the time for being human begins once again.
As of June 2018, according to Forbes Magazine, the national student debt is $1.5 Trillion and impacts 44 million current and former American students.
With interest rates for advanced degrees (6-7%) that surpass averages for car and home loan interest rates (around 3-4%) - the question remains why are we squeezing our greatest resources (young minds and the natural world) to the utmost degree?
The book of Exodus dedicates half of its chapters to the Israelites building the Mishkan from scratch, the abode to house the presence of God.
Leviticus, on the other hand, focuses on the importance of the internal work that must be done, first and foremost, before one can even consider entering into that newly built presence of God.
Studying Torah in the modern age can be a tricky endeavor sometimes. Engaging with ideas from 3,000 years ago will inevitably lead to a culture clash between our modern sensibilities and those from the Iron Age of the Ancient Near East.
With stories that touch on the necessity for war, strict hierarchies, and with enough gender insensitivities to fill an entire semester long course for ‘smashing the patriarchy’ it can be very challenging to hang in with the process of talmud torah.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the 929 project is seeing how the daily chapter interacts with the regular Jewish calendar. Whether it is the weekly Torah portion, the daily prayers, or a special holiday reading - they all have connections to the stories that we read throughout this two and a half year cycle. Recently, I found one such connection particularly inspiring as it reminded me the majesty of stories.
The World Series is soon upon us. With the lead up to these games come the talking-heads pontificating about who they think will likely win it all, car and beer companies producing eye-catching commercials, and street vendors thinking up the designs for their next viral t-shirt.
What this also means is that between October 23–31st there will be millions of people screaming in jubilation or crying in intense anguish.
When moving towards any goal as a team or a community every member must contribute something to make that dream a reality.
For the Israelites that were breathlessly dashing towards liberation there were a handful of figures that stood out from the rest in terms of their contribution to making that freedom become a reality.
I live in the United States and as far as I can tell we value tackling problems head on and solving them once and for all. Once we set our minds to something we expect to see results and to see them right away.
This demand for quick a turnaround shows up in all areas of our lives. From relationships, to the ways we give charity, and perhaps most obviously in the ways we diet. There has to be a “before” and “after” picture and there has to be one immediately. If results aren’t seen after a few short weeks … “why did I even bother with this to begin with” we ask ourselves while looking for the next quick solution.
But then what about things like prayer or meditation - things that don’t yield immediate or visible results? Should I just throw out my prayer shawl along with my old iPhone because it too didn’t get me to my desired goal fast enough? That’s definitely a thought that has crossed my mind many times.