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Nov 8 2013

Torah MOMentary: Why Are We Passing Down These Crazy Bible Stories?

By at 9:31 am

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This post is part of our new Torah commentary series. This week we read Parashat Vayetze. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

Have you seen the new episode of that crazy reality show about the dysfunctional family where a father tricks his son-in-law-to-be into marrying both of his daughters instead of just one (dooming the second daughter to a loveless marriage)? And then the two sisters compete to see who can have the most babies, even using their kids’ names to gloat about their victories? And then finally the whole family takes off in the middle of the night, stealing the father’s most precious possession, then lying about it?

Just kidding, it’s not a reality show–it’s this week’s Torah portion, Vayetze.

This is the time of year I start asking…why are these stories in our holy book? Why do we read them every year? Why did my ancestors pass them down generation after generation until they reached me? And why should I pass them down to my daughter? Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 4 2013

Torah MOMentary: Noah Wasn’t Perfect & Neither Are We

By at 10:02 am

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This post is part of our new Torah commentary series. This week we read Parashat Noah. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.

You know the dirty look you get at a café when you turn your back for a second and your toddler gets her sticky hands very close to the laptop of the guy working at the next table?

I used to feel terrible when I got that look. After all, not so long ago, I was that guy with the laptop. And so I know exactly what he’s thinking: “Can’t you control your child?”

To be clear: common courtesy is important. I don’t want my kid messing with my own laptop, much less anyone else’s. And if she’s making a ton of noise in a quiet place, I do my best to get her out of there as fast as I can.

But still, she’s a kid, and I’m a mother, and sometimes we’re on a walk and I woke up at 6 a.m. and I want a cup of coffee, and at those moments, we’re the obnoxious people in the hipster café. And in the past few months I’ve stopped feeling quite so bad about it. Read the rest of this entry →

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