Tag Archives | ten commandments

Parashat Ki Tisa – The Mitzvah of Tzedaka | D’varim Ha’Makom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Nicole Cruz; Peninsula JCC – San Francisco, CA This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tisa, tells the story of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments from G-d (not once but twice) at Mount Sinai. The first set of Ten Commandments is broken when Moses destroys them in frustration when he witnesses the Egyptians worshiping a god they created because they were impatient waiting for his return from Mount Sinai. Eventually, Moses returns to Mount Sinai and G-d scribes the same words on a new set of stones. After speaking with G-d, when Moses descends Mount Sinai the second time his face is radiating. While this Torah portion contains many significant moments, the part that most resonated with me wast he conversation between G-d and Moses before he leaves Mount Sinai the first time: “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. This shall be a perpetual covenant, a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever…” In this well-known quote, we come to understand that we rest on Shabbat because G-d commands it. Reading this Torah portion reminded me of the other Mitzvot that we adhere to. While […]

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Danielle Smith with child at Eden Village

Parashat Mishpatim | D’varim HaMakom: The JOFEE Fellows Blog

by Danielle Smith, Eden Village Camp – Putnam Valley NY In last week’s parsha, we received the ten commandments. Before we receive the golden calf, we have nearly a whole parsha of laws showing us how to apply the commandments in our daily lives. This week we receive 53 laws that talk about gender, social justice, courts, serving G-d, criminal law, ethics, and more. After Moses tells the Israelites all of these laws, they respond by saying, “we will do and listen.” These laws acknowledge the values that the ten commandments address and they give us action items for how to apply the principles of the commandments. I hope that we do not blindly follow laws just because they are written, but that we follow laws that are morally right and align with the mission of our collective society. I want to focus on two values in particular that are addressed through the laws in Mishpatim- income inequality and acts of kindness. Mishpatim talks about female servitude and the laws around a poor father selling his daughter to a wealthier family for service and then for marriage. This portion discusses themes of Shmita, saying that after six years, a slave […]

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