The Landscape of Revelation

The Landscape of Revelation

Jan 2, 2016 By Eitan Fishbane | Commentary | Shemot

“Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. . .The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?…”

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Blessing and Curse

Blessing and Curse

Aug 21, 2013 By Arnold M. Eisen | Commentary | Ki Tavo

This week’s portion contains some of the highest highs and lowest lows in the entire Torah—or in any other work of literature, for that matter. At the start of the parashah, Israelites in the wilderness are asked to picture what it will be like to testify, from inside the Land of Israel, that they have seen God’s promises of blessing fulfilled. At the end of the parashah, those same Israelites are subjected to 54 verses of terrifying curses detailing the punishments awaiting them “if you fail to observe faithfully all the terms of this Teaching” (Deut. 28:58).

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God’s Earth: Between Blessing and Curse

God’s Earth: Between Blessing and Curse

May 15, 2015 By Arnold M. Eisen | Commentary | Behar | Behukkotai

Here is Leviticus—in many ways the most intimate of the Torah’s five books, because it usually meets us frail, mortal, human beings where we live, in our skins and with our families, in private spaces of home and tabernacle—instructing us as a society, as a species, that divine blessings of rain and sun will turn to curses if we do not do our part in stewarding God’s earth properly. The text insists that a fateful choice is in our hands. And it seems far from confident that we will make the choice wisely.

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Species Purity and the Great Flood

Species Purity and the Great Flood

Oct 24, 2014 By Daniel Nevins | Commentary | Noah

Omnicide is a dramatic move, on that we can all agree. But what causes the Creator to grow violently disgusted with the creatures that had just recently been praised as “good” and blessed with fertility?

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Yours? Mine? Ours? Economies for a Sustainable Earth

Yours? Mine? Ours? Economies for a Sustainable Earth

Apr 25, 2013 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

A panel discussion sponsored by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of JTS. 

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