Exodus (Shmot)

Terumah 5768 — God’s Intellectual Property revisited

February 2, 2008

This coming week’s Torah portion is Terumah, which includes among other things detailed instructions for the construction of the mishkan which I used last year as a launching point for a discussion of the protection of intellectual property under halacha.  You can read it here .  I’m happy to report this year that my...
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Ki Tisa 5767 – The Power of the Story

March 9, 2007
Ki Tisa 5767 – The Power of the Story

For people who witnessed a lot of miracles, like the plagues in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea, our ancestors did not show a lot of faith. Not long after the miracles of leaving Egypt, Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments from God. This week’s Torah reading, Ki...
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Terumah 5767 — God’s Intellectual Property

February 23, 2007
Terumah 5767 — God’s Intellectual Property

God is a stickler for details. This week’s Torah reading, Terumah, contains all the design details for the Tabernacle, the portable Temple, and its contents. Look at all the details given in the instructions for building just one of the ritual objects, the menorah: “And you shall make a menorah (lampstand or candelabra) of...
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Mishpatim 5767

February 17, 2007
Mishpatim 5767

וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים  “And these are the judgments.”  And in this week’s Torah portion, Mishpatim, there are many judgments, or commandments — 53 to be precise.  Most of the laws in this week’s parsha are in the category of mitzvot “bein adam l’chaveiro,” between people.  There are laws relating to prosecuting capital cases, and there...
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Yitro 5767

February 9, 2007

Yitro, our tradition’s first management consultant, gives Moses some excellent advice in this week’s Torah reading.  Seeing Moses wearing himself out attending to disputes between people, Yitro tells him to delegate.  Not only that, he tells Moses what kind of people he should seek out as leaders: Exodus 18:21. And you shall choose out...
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Ki Tisa 5766 — Ordaining Gays and Lesbians

February 3, 2006

 Surely the greatest treasure the world has ever known was the original two tablets of the Ten Commandments. These were no ordinary pieces of stone with a little of writing engraved on them. In this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, we are told that tablets were ma’aseh Elohim, they were the work of God—the...
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