Blog

Spies and Lies and Politics

Words of Torah Sh’lach l’cha: Numbers 13:1-16:41 Rabbi Em Mueller Sim Shalom On-line Synagogue June 28, 2016 In this Torah portion, scouts go into the land that God promised to our ancestors. The Israelites have been at Mount Sinai; they’ve wandered through the... read more

Torah and Senators and the NRA

Dvar on Parashat B’Ha’alotecha: Numbers 8:1-12:16 Rabbi Em Mueller Sim Shalom Synagogue June 2016 This week we read that God elevates the Levites, who will perform the service for the Israelites in the Tent of Meeting, and will make expiation for the Israelites “so... read more

Speaking to the Massacre in Orlando

Dvar on Parashat Nasso: Numbers 4:21-7:89 Rabbi Em Mueller June 2016 This Torah portion contains two parts that speak loudly to these days following the massacre in Orlando. First, the Nazarite’s vow. We are told that it is okay to retreat from the world, to live in... read more

Do Numbers Really Count?

Drash on Parshat BaMidbar – Numbers 1:1-4:20 Rabbi Em Mueller June 2016 The whole of the book of Numbers – BaMidbar – begins with God’s command to take a census of the Israelites. (1:2). Rabbi Joseph A. Skloot, in his commentary at reformjudaism.org,... read more

How Law Can Keep Us Holy

Drash on Parashat Acharei Mot II – Leviticus 18:1-30 This parashah deals with God’s commandments to keep separate from the practices of the people in Canaan and Egypt. We must faithfully observe God’s laws, by the pursuit of which man shall live. Just about the... read more

A Path to Holiness

Drash on Parashat Acharei Mot II – Leviticus 18:1-30 Rabbi Em Mueller May 2016 This parashah deals with God’s commandments to keep separate from the practices of the people in Canaan and Egypt. We must faithfully observe God’s laws, by the pursuit of which man... read more

Dressing with Intention

… dressing ourselves is the first step in bringing this intentionality – kavennah – to everything we do …

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Passover and the Bern

Bernie Sanders says that he’s Jewish, but not religious, and that he doesn’t know where his commitment to social justice comes from. I think it comes from his years of celebrating Passover.

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The Slippery Slide

This week’s Torah portion continues with commandments of what is impure, and, if it can be made pure, how to do so.  These impurities are people with skin disease, which we now call leprosy; and the mould in a building. It ends with a woman’s menstrual cycle —... read more