Category: Sefer Shemot / Book of Exodus

Charlton Heston Speaking

Charlton Heston Speaking

We can learn about leadership from Moses, as well as from Charlton Heston speaking, as he plays Moses in the Ten Commandments movie.
Shirat Hayam - They're playing our song!

Shirat Hayam: They’re playing our song!

Shirat Hayam connects us to a collective memory and is the proof-text that enlarges, extends, and authenticates the meaning of the prayer. 
Why I Change the Melodies: Exploring Keva and Kavanah

Why I Change the Melodies: Exploring Keva and Kavanah

By occasionally changing melodies, we draw from both Keva and Kavanah and invite ourselves into a deeper connection with our prayers.
Parashat Pekudei Haftarah: The Builder of the Dwelling

The Builder of the Dwelling

God created the world but it was not complete until a home was made for God. These homes come in the forms of the Mishkan ...
In God's Shadow

In God’s Shadow

Parashat Pekudei describes the construction of the Mishkan in accordance with the specific instructions given by God to Moshe.
Parashat Vayakhel Haftarah Between Enthusiasm and Law

Study Guide: Between Enthusiasm and Law

This week's study guide explores the building of the Tabernacle. The exploration includes time worked and communal actions completed.
Parashat Vayakhel Study Guide The King's New Clothes

The King’s New Clothes

Jeoash, the king discussed in this week's haftarah, becomes king at a young age. Does his goodness come from himself or his teachers?
Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark

In the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, archeologist Indiana Jones vies to recover the Ark of the Covenant, featured in this week’s parashah.
The Masveh Aliyah: Honor Someone Who Cares

The Masveh Aliyah: Honor Someone Who Cares

On Parashat Ki Tisa, honor someone in your community who embodies empathy and care. The Aliyah also marks the anniversary of the pandemic.
Parashat Ki Tissa Haftarah: Hopping Between Two Branches

Hopping Between Two Branches

This week's Haftarah parallels the parashah's discussion on God. The Israelites face more attractive gods but return to God, in the end.
Parashat Ki Tissa Study Guide: A Cosmic National Sign

Study Guide: A Cosmic National Sign

This week's study guide explores the relationship between God and the Israelites, in the Israelites keeping the Sabbath for God.
The Aromatic Smokescreen

The Aromatic Smokescreen

Our parashah contains the Ten Commandments, as well as instructions for preparing the Ketoret, the incense offered in the Tabernacle.
Study Guide Parashat Pekudei: Clean in the Eyes of God

Study Guide: Clean in the Eyes of God

This week's study guide discusses details about the building of the mishkan and cleanliness in the context of prayer.
Parashat Tetzaveh Haftarah: Mortality and the Generations

Mortality and the Generations

Ezekiel is rather similar to Moses. Both of them serve God and Israel outside of the land of Israel. This week's Haftarah explores that.
Parashat Tetzaveh Study Guide: Whose Light Is It?

Study Guide: Whose Light Is It?

This week's study guide follows the concept of light used in the Mishkan, as compared with the light in the creation of the world.
Nothing But Radish Oil

Nothing But Radish Oil

This week’s parashah opens with God’s instructions to Moshe concerning the oil used for lighting the Menorah in the Mishkan.
Parashat Terumah Haftarah: Love and the Building of the Temple

Love and the Building of the Temple

Building Solomon’s Temple was perhaps the greatest feat ever of Jewish architecture. This week's haftarah explores this more.
Study Guide: The Royal Table

Study Guide: The Royal Table

This week's parshah discusses instructions for building accessories for the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. This includes a lavish, gold table.
The Furnished Ark

The Furnished Ark

Our parashah describes the creation of the Mishkan, especially the ark, holding the tablets, manna, Aaron's staff, and oil.
Parashat Mishpatim Haftarah: Freedom

Parashat Mishpatim Haftarah: Freedom

The greatest story of our tradition is a story about freedom. This week's Haftarah from Jeremiah explores freedom and our choices.
Study Guide: Let Go!

Study Guide: Let Go!

This week's study guide presents commentary on the shemitah—sabbatical year—and giving to the poor or giving tzedakah.
The Baby in the Brick

The Baby in the Brick

Our parashah describes a puzzling episode, following the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai when elders of Israel envision God.
Parashat Yitro Haftarah: Stumps and Seeds

Stumps and Seeds

This week's Haftarah, Isaiah, focuses on the promised destruction and regeneration. Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" depicts that.
Study Guide: Tabula Rasa?

Study Guide: Tabula Rasa?

The study guide for Parashat Yitro discusses the Ten Commandments and the relationships between fathers and children.
Sitting Atop A Sundial

Sitting Atop A Sundial

Our parashah contains the words of the Ten Commandments, which God speaks to Moses and the people of Israel from Mount Sinai.

The Song of Deborah and All That Jazz

Rethinking the Tanakh as a Musical and the Song of Deborah as one of the major musical numbers invites to reflect differently.

Study Guide: Two Ends of a Stick

Moses is instructed to strike the stone as a water source with a rod because the Israelites are thirsty. What else did this rod do?
Make the Bitter Sweet

Make the Bitter Sweet

Just three days after escaping Egypt, the Israelites find themselves in the desert with no water, causing spiritual crises.
Parashat Bo Haftarah: Coming Home

Coming Home

A claim to the land of Israel ranged from a covenant with Abraham to laws to keep the land. This week's haftarah discusses that.
Parashat Bo Study Guide: Time and the Teller

Study Guide: What Does Telling Time Tell Us About the Teller?

When Moses names a time for the final plague, the death of the first born, he isn't as specific as we might expect, why?
Restarting Time

Restarting Time

This week's parashah opens a conversation about when the beginning of the year is and the impact that it has on time itself.
Parashat Vaera Haftarah: Bending or Breaking

Bending or Breaking

What composes the inner grit, the resilient core of a person? Whatever it is, Pharoah is notoriously lacking.
The Pizza Toast

The Pizza Toast

Vaera opens with God reiterating the covenant made with Moshe's ancestors. What's the connection between this parshah and pizza toast?
Parashat Shemot Haftarah: The Sound of Prayer

The Sound of Prayer

This week's haftarah brings meaning to words without meaning—nonsense—and how to pray without understanding the literal meaning.
Parashat Shemot Study Guide: Midwives

Study Guide: Midwives

The study guide for this week's parashah focuses on the roles of the midwives in the beginning of the Exodus story.
Bridegroom of Blood

Bridegroom of Blood

Shemot describes the early years of Moshe’s life up to the pivotal moment when he is informed of his mission awaiting him in Egypt.
Parashat Vaera Study Guide: 1-0 in Favor of Pharoah

Study Guide: 1-0 in Favor of Pharoah

In this week's parashah, Moshe is accused of “giving Pharaoh a sword to kill us,” in response to his demands of "let my people go."