Friday, February 26, 2016

Random Musing Before Shabbat–Ki Tisa 5776– It Didn’t Matter

A very short musing this week. In our haftarah, Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet) challenges the priests of Ba’al to prove which G”d is really G”d. Jezebel had convinced her husband King Ahab to allow her religion to be practiced among the Israelites, and Eliyahu was going to prove to the Israelites, once and for all, that Baal was no G”d. Eliyahu wins, convincingly. It’s a pretty impressive display, too. The Priests of Baal fail miserably, but not G”d, Eliyahu lays it on thick, putting roadblocks in G”d’s way (i.e.having all the wood on the altar drenched in water. This giv es G”d the opportunity to double down and perform an evenb moreimpressive feat.

Guess what? It didn’t matter. Elijah still spent the rest of his life (well, we’re not really sure it ever ended, are we?) trying to convince the Israelites and their leaders to live by G”d’s commandments.

This haftarah is a classic example of theatrical razzle-dazzle. The reader is blinded with the miracle, and fails to realize that, in the end, it didn’t really have much effect upon the intended targets. Eliyahu and Jonah must had experienced some similar feelings at some point.

Nice try, rabbis that assembled the haftarot. Pair this story with the story of the golden calf. Taken out of the rest of its context, it works great. Taken in context, it’s weak tea.

There is much to admire in Eliyahu and how he fulfilled his role as a Prophet of G”d. He really was the ideal gadflyish, pesky prophet, In the end, however, all his efforts produced little result. Perhaps that’s why we keep waiting around for him to come and finish things up.

I told you it was a short musing.

Shabbat Shalom,

© 2016 by Adrian A, Durlester

Other Musing on this parasha:

Ki Tisa 5775 - Shabbat Is A Verb II
Ki Tissa 5774 - Faith Amnesia (and Anger Management)
Ki Tissa/Shabbat Parah 5773 - Fortune and Men's Eyes (Redux and Revised)
Ki Tisa 5772 - Other G"d?
Ki Tisa 5771 - Still Waiting for the Fire
Ki Tisa 5770 - A Fickle Pickle
Ki Tisa 5768-Not So Easy? Not So Hard!
Ki Tisa/Shabbat Parah 5767-New Hearts and New Spirits
Ki Tisa/Shabbat Parah 5766-Fortune and Men's Eyes
Ki Tisa 5765-Re-Souling Ourselves
Ki Tisa 5764-A Musing on Power Vacuums
Ki Tisa 5763-Shabbat is a Verb
Ki Tisa 5762-Your Turn
Ki Tisa 5760-Anger Management
Ki Tisa 5761-The Lesson Plan

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Random Musing Before Shabbat–Tetzaveh 5776–House Guest (Redux and Revised 5763)


 וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵֽאלֹהִֽים:  וְיָֽדְעוּ כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִי אֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְשָׁכְנִי בְתוֹכָם אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶֽם

"I will dwell among the Israelites, and I will be a G”d for them. They will realize that I, G”d their L”rd, brought them out of Egypt to make My presence felt among them. I am G”d their L”rd." (Ex 29:45-46)

What a great deal. We get a live-in G”d. That's probably well worth the price of this b'rit we're entering into with G”d. Or so it would have seemed. Yet we've not done so well with our end of the b'rit (and some might question whether G”d has upheld G”d's end of the deal all that completely either--true, perhaps--but, as I'm fond of pointing out, "mir zeynen do"-we're still here.)

It's a pretty amazing privilege to have the G”d of all creation dwell amongst us. And how have we treated this live-in? Images of Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford and Buster Keaton singing "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" flow into my mind. (As Tom Lehrer used to say, the rest of you can look that up when you get home.) I fear at times that the answer to how we have treated our live-in G”d has been "as a servant" or a "maid" or a "plaything" when perhaps the answer should be "as an honored guest." We treat G”d as a great djinn--we rub the lamp and insist on our three wishes. And if we don't get them, we boot the djinn out of the house.

There are those among who believe that this live-in is a "stranger among us" and therefore to be feared. Yet, even if G”d is a stranger to us, should we not treat G”d with the hospitality due to any visitor, stranger, enemy, or friend, as exemplified by Avraham? G”d may be unknowable, but that doesn't mean G”d can't be treated as a proper guest--albeit it would be a bit harder to try and please an unknowable guest. Still, we are called upon to be hospitable. And so we should be.

Like any live-in, be it relative, friend, significant other, domestic help, nanny, there are certainly going to be times when we get on each others nerves. And when one of the people living in the house is the Creator of the Universe, there's bound to be tension, problems, and issues.

Sometimes, a little "private" or "alone" time helps. Giving people "their space." Yet how can one find either time or place to be apart from G”d? Would one want to? Should one? Is it truly possible? Can G”d ever be truly alone?

As I've often said, being b'tzelem Elokim (in the image of G”d) works both ways. Characteristics that we have are just as likely to be characteristics that G”d has. So, like us, maybe G”d can have annoying habits, do troublesome things. But like the roommate you got stuck with in college, your spouse or partner, some co-worker at the office, some friend or family that has overstayed their welcome, you have to find a way to work it out. I'll give you a hint I've found from my own experience.

It is true that sometimes that a little distance, a little separation, can help strengthen a relationship. Sometimes, however, the secret is not separation or time apart...sometimes clinging even harder to each other works out better. When you get "apart" time, you can forget and "get over" those petty annoyances. But do they ever really go away, or do they just lie dormant, awaiting some other issue to bring them rising to the surface in resentment, anger, jealousy? Yes, maybe sometimes some apart time allows both parties to get rid of some of the baggage. Sometimes, however, I think it might just give them time to stuff the baggage deeper into the closet. Avoidance or confrontation – must it be all one or the other?

When you cling even harder, those pesky annoyances are there all the time, staring you in the face-you can't get over them. You face them. You work through them. You get beyond them. That's a whole other way of looking at dveykut, the idea of clinging to G”d.

We have sometimes pushed G”d away--and at times, it seems G”d has pushed us away. We give each other the silent treatment. We ignore. But when do we get to the hug or kiss and make-up stage?

Honored as we are to have G”d dwell amidst us, let us make G”d a welcome presence. As with any relationship, it will have its ups and downs, its times for togetherness and its time the separateness. The trick is knowing when each is appropriate.

When we want to push G”d away, maybe clinging on tighter might bring better results than time apart. We won’t know until we try. There’s rarely ever just one way to solve a problem. Sometimes, the solution to getting on each other’s nerves could be separation, sometimes it might be holding tighter and pushing on through. We can’t assume one method is always better than the other. So we simply have to take a chance and see what happens. All relationships require risk and trust. Yes, some of us have been so hurt that it is hard to ever trust again. I dare suggest it may be no different whether we were hurt by another human or hurt by G”d. If we ever want to fix a relationship, or even be in another one, we have to try a little trust and take a little risk. I think it’s unavoidable. With human beings, and with G”d.

I’ve stuck it out sometimres, and at other times I’ve tried the geographical cure. I cannot say for certain whether either method is more efficacious than the other. Surprise, surprise. Yet another thing in this universe that is about balance. (And, I might add, I am referring to both my relationships with other human beings, and my relationship with G”d. No, make that relationships with G”d. I’m not afraid to say that.)

I don't know about you, but I think I'm ready for another round of kiss and make up with G”d. We get the chance to do that every week on Shabbat. Let's take advantage of it. Sure, we'll probably get into more arguments and fights, but isn't it nice to know that a time for kissing and making up is built into the system? (Alright, you don't always have to kiss your roommate, but, when you fight with them, you should at least make up with them.)

Go on now...invite G”d back to be your houseguest. Then go and give G”d, your houseguest, your friend and neighbor, a great big hug and a smile. You might get one back, and won't that feel good?

When G”d gets on your nerves, or does something to upset you, as will invariably happen, look carefully at your options for dealing with it. Don’t assume that separation or clinging tighter is THE solution. Choose the one that seems appropriate.

This particular Shabbat, I’m choosing to cling and tough it out. What about you?

Shabbat Shalom,


© 2016 (portions ©2003) by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings On This Parasha

Tetzaveh 5775 - Aharon's Bells (Revised)
Tetzaveh 5774 - It's Not Urim or Thummim
Tetzaveh/Shabbat Zachor/Purim 5773 - Fighting Dirty
Tetzaveh 5772-Perfection Imperfect
Tetzaveh 5770 - A Nation of Priests? (And a Shtickel of Purim)
Tetzaveh 5768-Light and Perfection
Tetzaveh/Purim 5767-The Urim & Thummim Show (Updated)
Tetzaveh 5766-Silent Yet Present
Tetzaveh 5765 and 5761-Aharon's Bells
Tetzaveh 5764-Shut Up and Listen!
Tetzaveh 5763-House Guest
Tetzaveh 5762 (Redux 5760)-The Urim and Thummim Show
Tetzaveh 5758-Something Doesn't Smell Quite Right

Friday, February 12, 2016

Random Musing Before Shabbat–T’rumah 5776–Gift Cards for G”d

Recently, I offered a gift. It was a meaningful gift to me. I had put a lot of time and effort into creating it. It was a product for which I normally charge organizations a reasonable fee. It was a script. I offered this work product gratis to an organization, which, though not my primary employer, is one for which I do quite a bit of work, and want to support their efforts. I began to help them prepare to use it. It is a type of product I have sold or given to other organizations in the past, so I would consider myself reasonably familiar with the usual conditions under which such an item would be presented.

The script, this gift, runs about the typical length, in my experience, for the type of program for which it was written. For a few weeks, I have been working with people in the organization to prepare to present this gift, this script.

Today I was asked how long the program is, because an edict has been issued from the powers that be that this program was not to exceed twenty minutes. I responded that it runs an hour, and that I had no interest in adapting it to run in twenty minutes, as I do not believe one can do the story justice in that length of time. I stated that I would withdraw the gifting if its length could not be accommodated, and that I would want all the copies of the script issued to be returned so that I would have this program to sell or gift to some other organization in the future. I asked that someone other than me be the one to inform those people who had already been working on the script be told it wasn’t going to be done.  I also stated that I would have to consider my options should the organization choose to present, on its own, a shorter program utilizing a similar theme as the program I had written. I was upset at how my gift was being treated.

At this point in time, I don’t know what the outcome will be. As the insult, which is how I think of it, is fresh, I realize that I may not be looking at this objectively. I may eventually soften my reaction, or simply chalk it up to experience (though I expect it will leave a sour taste behind.) Also, if I am being fair, I have to remember that no parameters were given to me in advance of my creating this script, this gift, and I am guilty of assuming the length these things have typically been in other settings and for other organizations would be similar. Writing about this is just cathartic, at the moment, and I use it only as a way of getting around to one of the main subjects of the parasha, expressed in its very name.

דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקְחוּ־לִי תְּרוּמָה מֵאֵת כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ תִּקְחוּ אֶת־תְּרֽוּמָתִֽי

Say to the children of Israel “Bring Me gifts from each who whose heart has so moved them to bring their gift.”

That’s always the part upon which I focus. Perhaps the lesson I need to learn today is to remember what follows.

וְזֹאת הַתְּרוּמָה אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ מֵֽאִתָּם

And these are the gifts that you will accept from them

G”d gives a rather specific list of what gifts will be accepted:

gold, silver, and copper; blue, purple, and crimson yarns, fine linen, goats' hair; tanned ram skins, dolphin skins, and acacia wood; oil for lighting, spices for the anointing oil and for the aromatic incense;  lapis lazuli and other stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece

(It should be noted that G”d gets rather specific not just about the gifts, but about the exact construction of the mishkan and all the attending items. I’ve written about that a few times.)

So what may be gifted is not whatever a person is so moved in their heart to give, but only if they are moved to give one of the acceptable items. To our modern sensibilities (and perhaps even to ancient ones)it feels just a bit unfair. why can’t I offer whatever I am moved to offer?

Well, let’s think about that for a minute. In the area of charity, there has been much discussion about charities giving those they are helping what they really need, and not what the charity, or its supporters believe the people need. I still carry socks in my car to give away to homeless folks because I was once told, by a person who had experienced homelessness, that these were something many homeless people could really use.

More and more charities are offering the option for targeted donations. We also have micro-loan and micro-charity organizations that target on a very sepcific level and have very sepcific needs.

Why is an organization to which I am making a gift obligated to accept my gift, if it is something that isn’t really useful to them? Now, like everything in this world, there are many shades here, many sides. G”d specifies (what we think are) dolphin skins and acacia wood. What if I have another type of skin or wood to offer that might do the job as well. Should that be unacceptable?

We are all taught to accept gifts graciously, but how many gift items wind up sitting on a shelf, or wind up being re-gifted. Of course, the modern solution to all this is the gift card. On the one hand, it’s the height of laziness, on the other, it does allow the gift to be truly useful to the recipient by allowing them to choose what to get. I have been involved in charity drives with schools and students where the organizations actually told us that a gift card could be the most useful thing you could give to a person in need. It is not necessarily an unthinking, less thoughtful gesture.

Judaism has many different ways to praise and bless G”d. Some of them are quite specific in reference to for what G”d is being praised or blessed. Others are a bit broader. In Temple times, the requested gifts and sacrifices were quite specific. The the prophets told us that the sacrificies of our lips would suffice. So what do we offer in our prayers and blessings? Do we give specific thanks and blessings, or do we offer G”d some gift cards?

Of course, perhaps this is all useless speculation. As many commentators have taught us, the Temple, the sacrifices – they weren’t really for G”d. G”d has little need of burnt food and pleasing odors. No, we are told, those are really for us, so that we might feel that our sacrificies are worthwhile (and so our olfactory senses weren’t overwhelmed by the smell of the sacrificies.) G”d didn’t really need the Mishkan. We needed the Mishkan. (Which takes us back to why G”d was so speicifc about the construction of the Mishkan, a topic we can discuss some other time, or you can read some of my other musings on this parasha.)

Are you one of those people who routinely uses the “other amount” field when filling out a physical or online contribution form which also has suggested amounts? I am. I don’t begrudge the charities the techniques that market research has shown to be effective in increasing their receipts. I just don’t like being told what amount to give. Is that pride? Stubbornness? Something else?

Clearly, as we learn later, the children of Israel were quite moved in their hearts to give all the specified items for the building of the mishkan. They didn’t seem to object to being told what they should contribute. So why should I?

There are still many who share the sentiment that gifts should be personal, given with lots of thought. Who would rather have a homemade drawing than a giftcard. However, can I be certain that the person to whom I am making a gift really wants my very personalized gift? What if I’ve gotten it all wrong?

As usual, I don’t seem to have any concrete answers. Gifting is a complicated thing, that needs to take into account the circumstances of both giver and recipient. (Some would argue that only the desires of the recipient matter, but I’m not convinced of that. Giving is still a social interaction (no matter how hard we try to isloate and insulate ourselves from the realities of those we are trying to help.) I’ve encountered more than my share who look askance when I offer them socks instead of coins.

There is so much upon which we havenlt touched. So much more to say, to think about, to ponder. I have mused, and have more musing yet to do on this topic. I invite you to join me in pondering the mysteries of giving and receiving gifts – from and to and other, and from and to G”d.

Shabbat Shalom,

© 2016 by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings on this Parasha:

T'rumah 5775 - Dis Legonmenon Driving Me Crazy, Mon!
T'rumah 5774 - Dollhouse
T'rumah 5773 - Virtual Reality, Real Virtuality, or Really Virtual?
T'rumah 5772-When Wool and Linen Together Are Not Shatnez
T'rumah 5771 - TorahLeaks
T'rumah 5770 - Finessing Idolatry, or Outgrowing It?
T'rumah 5769 - Planning for Always
T'rumah 5767-You Gotta Wanna - The Sequel
T'rumah 5766-No Tools Allowed
T'rumah 5765-Ish Al Akhiv
T'rumah 5764-Redux 5760-Doing It Gd's Way
T'rumah 5763-Semper Paratus
T'rumah 5762-Virtual Reality or Real Virtuality?
T'rumah 5760-Doing It Gd's Way
T'rumah 5761-You Gotta Wanna

Friday, February 5, 2016

Random Musing Before Shabbat–Mishpatim 5776-Might for Right


I have little love for a G”d that seeks to compel righteous behavior through threat and intimidation. In the haftarah for parashat Mishpatim, G”d does just that. However, there’s something different about this particular invocation of the threat in our haftarah for parashat Mishpatim.

As a young child, I was enthralled with a Broadway musical which contained important and hopeful philosophical messages – Lerner and Lowe’s “Camelot.” Then, when I was a young teen, a movie version came out, renewing my interest in the topic, and in a particular bit of text.  At the same time, I took on a curious assigment, voluntarily, of reading and writing a report about Thucydides “History of the Pelopennesian War.” In it, an impressionable young man discovered one of the earliest potential sources of this bit of theatrical text which had struck such an important note (if you’ll forgive the pun) in his developing philosophy of life and how to live it.

“…since you know as well as we do that right, as the world .goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” (Thucydides, History of the Peleponnesian War, Chapter XVII, Richard Crawley translation)

This is probably the earliest known expression of the “might makes right” philosophy. At the dsame time, inspired by the recent movie version of “Camelot” I was inspired me to read the work of a contemporary author. In his book, written thousands of years after Thucydides, T.H. White fantasized  a legendary King Arthur saying:

"Why can't you harness Might so that it works for Right?" (T.H. White, The Once and Future King, Book 2, Chapter 6, pg 254)

It is at this point that Merlyn realizes that Arthur is learning all those lessons he tried to teach him in book I, constantly confronting him with bullies and others espousing the “might is right” philosophy. Thus, a cause, a philosophy was, at least in this fantsay history, born.

The bit of text fom “Camelot”which I hadI encountered and taken to heart was written in 1960 by Alan Jay Lerner, who had massaged the two competing philosophies into the phrase we all know today, and which I found so profound as a child:

“We'll make it a great honor. Very fashionable! Everyone will want to join! Only now, the knights will whack only for good. Might for right. Might for right. Might - for - right. That's it, Ginny. Might. No, not might is right. Might - For - Right!”

The tension between the competing “might IS right” and “might FOR right” philosophies is as strong today as it ever was. I have always considered myself unabashedly in the “might FOR right” camp. However, that has never been a totally comfortable position.

In “Once and Future King” when Arthur effectively reinvents the idea of civil law, he places at its base the idea that “right is right.” White’s Arthur was, I believe, and as I am, essentially a pacifist. Arthur wearied of having to fight for right, and dreamed of a world where right was simply right. Thus the tension in “might for right.” That is a philosophy that lies dangerously on the edge of a precipitous slope. It can leads to colonialism and manifest destiny, or the US as the world’s police.”Might is right,” on the other hand, as Darwinianlly realistic as it might be, is, to my way of seeing things, inherently not just.

Unlike today’s youth, I grew up in world where the memories of WWII and the Shoah were still relatively fresh, Knowing people who bore concentration camp tattoos was a reality in the Jewish community. My father fought in WWI, albeit in the Pacific theater of operations. So the idea of a “just war” was not a alien concept. In some ways, that made being an opponent of and protester against the war in Vietnam easier – for there was little that could be said to be just about that conflict (except in a very twisted domino-theory logic.)

Today’s youth have to contend with the realities of a war based on a false premise (weapons of mass destruction,) wars based on bring democracy to countries that actually leave them worse off than before. Worse than that, we have conflicts in which the preponderence of “right” is unclear. (It’s no wonder so many young Jews are confused about their relationship to Israel. I will agree that Israel, more often than not, does go out of its way to try and pursue its self-defense and agressions in as just a manner as possible, and that Israel’s enemies often engage in tactics that simply cannot be considered just even under the most extreme conditions of hardship. However, Israel is not without blemish in this whole situation. I don’t want to make this about the whole situation vis a vis Israel and her opponents, so I’ll move on.)

Even I, with the knowledge of the realities of WWII (and earlier wars and atrocities) have become distanced from the concept of a just war as a result of all that has transpired in the last half of then twentieth century and the first decade-and-one-half of the twnety-first.

Then I read the haftarah for Mishpatim, and my thoughts cloud up again. Not because I embrace the concept of a G”d that uses fear to compel righteous actions. I don;t think I’ll ever be able to do that No, it is the righteous cause that G”d is championing in these 15 verses from chapter 34 of Jeremiah. (I’m going to ignore that tacked on verses from chapter 33 – they are there only to give the reading a “happy ending,” a literary tactic employed by those who compiled the haftarot that absolutely drives me crazy.)

The cause is the manumission of indentured Hebrew slaves every 7th year. True, it ony applied to Hebrews who were slaves (or, as many apologetic commentaries put it, indentured servants.) Actually, now that I think about it, the Torah doesn’t command manumission – that is a concept from the Talmud, which, by the way, lumped Jewish and non-Jewish slaves under the rules, and eliminated the 7-year limit, but gave slave-owners the right to free their slaves. (So both a high and low moment for Jewish ethics.)  What the Torah commands in not manumission, it is,plain and simple, complete release and freedom from slavery, for any Hebrew slave, after 7 years, or in a Jubilee year. Not so for non-Hebrew slaves.

(Though the rabbis were, in many ways, very attuned to issues of fairness, i.e. their efforts to make capital punishment difficult to use, when it came to slavery, they largely missed the boat. Yes, they prohibited the returning of an escaped slave. But they lumped Jewish and non-Jewish slaves into one category, and eliminated the 7-year limit. The rabbis have never been able to embrace –and perhaps with some good reasons – the simplicity of philosophy as expressed by the likes of Augustine, who said, plainly, that right is right. The rabbis were too invested in grey to embrace black and white.)

Setting aside the inconsistent treatment of Jewish and non-Jewish slaves, fighting for justice for enslaved people is a cause for which I might be persuaded that the use of might for right is appropriate.  So this haftarah inspires me – to a limited extent, to be passionate for the idea of might for right.

In the haftarah, part of what angers G”d and drives G”d to threaten the people through Jeremiah is their duplicity. They agreed to follow the commandment to release their slaves, and did so, and then went back and made them slaves again. So this is willful disobedience after a promise to follow a commandment after they had already broken it once.

I’d like to believe that the US was inspired by justice in the Civil War, or the Russian people inspired by justice in the Revolution, alas, the true histories reveal that underlying causes and motives were far less altruistic.

In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, Gandhi fought for India’s independence from colonial rule.  In the 50s and 60s, people fought for Civil Rights for people of color. Funny, how we use the term “fought” when these were, for the most part, non-violent movements. Might is not always required to achieve right. It helps, to be sure. Might, however, can be simple superiority of numbers, or superiority of patience.

As it was in pre-Revolution Russia, issues of inequitable wealth and power distribution are stirring up people in our country. I believe there is a champion out there, a prophet, hoping to right this wrong. But this is not about politics.

Through Jeremiah, G”d threatened to bring down ruin upon the people if they did not follow G”d’s commandments, and in particular, those regarding the treatment of slaves. We may not need (or believe)  the threat of G”d, yet the possibility exists that if we do not mend our ways, then ruin will descend upon us. Whether or not you accept G”d as the actor, the same results and consequences may play out in any case. Attributable to G”d’s action or not, inequity, injustice, and more often than not will yield a world that is worse off.

There is much in our world today that is not just. If we do not fight for right, then what befalls us may not be pleasant. I think the key discovery is, for me, that one can “fight” for right in ways that are non-violent, or, at the very least, involve minimal agressive action or use of force. In the US today, the most important non-violent force we have at our disposal is our vote. If we heed the words of Jeremiah, we must wield that power to do what is right and just in G”d’s eyes (or, if G”d doesn’t motivate you, in the eyes of humankind.)

A day may come again when we may need to employ phyiscal might for right. (To some extent, that day is already here again – for this is the dilemma that plagues Israel.) We have made some attempt at this. We sought to avenge/revenge the wholly unjust attacks of 9/11/2001. Arguably, our attempts to do so have only empowered and encouraged our enemies. Plus, in the process, we employed some non just tactics of our own.

I’m an avid reader of science fiction. Augthors of the genre with positive outlooks often posit a future in which we have overcome our need to employ physical might to enforce what is right and just. I pray for a future when this comes true, and I pray for a present when we strive to make this future our present. Ken y’hi ratzon. Ken y’hi ratzoneinu.

Shabbat Shalom

©2016 by Adrian A. Durlester

Other Musings on This Parasha:

Mishpatim 5775 - Revisiting Situational Ethics
Mishpatim 5774 - Chukim U'mishpatim Revisited
Mishpatim 5773 - No One Mounrs the Wicked
Mishpatim 5772-Repairing Our Damaged Temple
Mishpatim 5771 - Getting Past the Apologetics
Mishpatim 5770 - Divine Picnic
Mishpatim 5769 - Redux 5757/5761 Change from the Inside
Mishpatim 5768 - Justice for All
Mishpatim 5767-To See, To Behold, To Eat, To Drink
Mishpatim 5766 - Mishpatim with a Capital IM
Mishpatim 5765-Eid Khamas (revised)
Mishpatim 5764-Situational Ethics
Mishpatim 5763-My Object All Sublime
Mishpatim 5762-Enron Beware!
Mishpatim 5761-Change from the Inside
Mishpatim 5760-Chukim U'mishpatim
Mishpatim 5759-Eid Khamas-Witness to Violence