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Showing posts from February, 2018

A Sea of Lights, A River of Tears

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Journey to Shabbat Terumah 

A Sea of Lights, A River of Tears
Last night, I attended the sunset vigil that the city of Parkland organized as a response to the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School that took 17 innocent lives, teens and teachers, where scores of others were physically injured, where thousands are emotionally and spiritually scarred. I did not know what to expect, how many people would show up? What would the atmosphere would be like? Thankfully, I was able to meet up with some of our chaverim/congregants in the field last night. There were thousands of people who showed up with little notice (I heard reports of 8,000). Together we prayed, we sang, we listened to tributes by parents and teens, by politicians and faith leaders, and together, we lit up the night. As the sun came down, and the darkness overtook us, there was a sea of lights, and river of tears. There are no words that can do justice to describe how we are all feeling during these last two days, …

Parashat Mishpatim - Being a 'Buddy' to a Stranger by Bat Mitzvah Maddy Kristol

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Parashat Mishpatim - Being a 'Buddy' to a Stranger 5778/2018 by Maddy Kristol


Who in here loves rules?  I thought so.

My Torah portion Mishpatim, from the book of Exodus contains 53 commandments or mitzvot in it, more mitzvot than any other parashah in the book of Exodus.  All the biblical stories so far in the Torah have been nice, but now it is time to create a Jewish society. This parashah is also known as “the book of the covenant” and it is mostly concerned with how Israelite society should function.   So, we read about a lot of rules, and I have to be honest, I’m not too crazy about rules.  But, there was one commandment that really struck a chord with me:  how to treat strangers. The Torah mentions the rules about how to treat a stranger 36 times and 2 times in my torah portion. This rule is repeated more than any other rule in the Torah.

Exodus 22:20 states:

You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

What does it mean to …