A New Rabbi in 17th-Century Italy

A New Rabbi in 17th-Century Italy

Jul 29, 2016 By Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Commentary | Pinehas

Reminded that he will not be permitted to lead the people into the Land of Israel, Moses asks God to appoint a successor for him. God instructs Moses:

Single out Joshua son of Nun, an inspired man, and lay your hand upon him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and before the whole community, and commission him in their sight. Invest him with some of your authority, so that the whole Israelite community may obey. (Num. 27:18–20)

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Law as Response to Its Context

Law as Response to Its Context

Jul 29, 2016 By Jonathan Milgram | Commentary | Pinehas

What social and economic criteria demand a reevaluation—or perhaps even redefinition—of divine law? How does Jewish legal development through the ages illustrate the interrelationship between God and the Jewish people that results in new and relevant Jewish laws? The analysis of one element in parashat Pinehasinheritance by daughters—teaches that, at times, the Jewish people’s response to the divine call may be determined by the social and economic contexts, resulting in a reframing of the divine message for a new age.

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Justice and Mercy

Justice and Mercy

Jul 16, 2011 By Abigail Treu | Commentary | Text Study | Pinehas

The feminist in me adores this midrash: a tannaitic (first- or second-century CE) work acknowledging misogyny and extolling the women in this week’s parashah who appeal to a gender-blind God for mercy. With ever-present news stories of the gender-based gap in wages and job retention, the plea of the daughters of Zelophehad is still relevant.

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Succeeding Moses

Succeeding Moses

Jul 10, 2004 By Lewis Warshauer | Commentary | Pinehas

The Five Books of Moses bears this title because of the prominence of the man, Moses. Those who accept the traditional view of the origin of the Torah, also accept this nomenclature as a matter of course. Moses transmitted the Torah to his people and taught it to them. However, not accepting this view of the Torah’s origin does not in any way diminish the role of Moses in telling the narrative of the Torah. He is the central human character in every book, starting with Exodus.

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A Man of Spirit

A Man of Spirit

Jul 19, 2003 By Lauren Eichler Berkun | Commentary | Pinehas

Who is worthy of assuming Moses’ mantle and carrying the Children of Israel across the Jordan into the Promised Land? We learn this week that it shall be Joshua son of Nun. The description of the immanent transfer of power from Moses to Joshua provides a fascinating commentary on the nature of leadership.

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Extremes of Leadership

Extremes of Leadership

Jun 29, 2002 By Lewis Warshauer | Commentary | Pinehas

The Torah is a book of contrasts, of frequent and even wild swings between extremes — extremes of points of view and extremes of behavior. For a quick shift between extremes of points of view, one need look no farther than the opening words of Genesis. We see at first nothing but darkness. We hear the words, “Let there be light”, and soon, light is over all.

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Strengthening Judaism

Strengthening Judaism

Jul 2, 1994 By Ismar Schorsch | Commentary | Pinehas

In 1962 I graduated rabbinical school and entered the army for a two-year stint as a chaplain. Such national service was then still required of all JTS graduates before they could take a pulpit. After completing chaplaincy school in New York, I drove to my first assignment at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I arrived in the late afternoon and decided to visit the Jewish chapel where I would preside without delay. That was my first mistake.

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A Lesson on Leadership

A Lesson on Leadership

Jun 29, 2002 By Melissa Crespy | Commentary | Pinehas

World leaders are much in the news these days in France, in India and Pakistan, and of course in the US and in the Middle East. These leaders are being scrutinized every day for their actions or lack of action, for the quality of their character and for their ability to lead their people. Undoubtedly, ;a poll on their effectiveness as leaders would yield varying opinions, but our parashah this week gives us insight into some qualities that a leader should possess.

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