Lishpot: Justices in the wilderness This week, Parshat hashavua - reading portion "Yithro" is the happy end and restart of Shemot/Exodus - Part 1. Moses reconnects with Yithro, his father-in-law, his wife Zipporah and their two children, Gershom and Eliezer. The people of Israel were dwelling under tents and were meeting with Moses every day from the morning until sunset. "Vayeshev Moshe lishpot ha'am - and Moses was sitting to magistrate the people, nation". The word has a large lexical scope. Its root is rather funny and diverting at first glance: "shafat = "to divide, decree, decide, judge, criticize", as "it was a generation that judged its judges" (Bava Bathra15b ) as " shifta (Aramaic) = childish" are linked to Aramaic: "patata" = gossip, confusing speech, from "patat" = to break, to talk flippant. The typical "patata" example is when a person repeats things again and again in a parrot-fashion, like the Talmudic example: "God be with you" (Leviticus Rabba 32). It should be noted that actions involving judging, deciding or ruling were viewed as the consequence, or at least, comparable to childlike and even childish activities. You know the same as when children play games with roles: as rulers, physicians in a hospital, lawyers - jobs that Jews love to exercise as professionals and after years of studies. The Oriental way of judging makes it also very vivid, psychedelic at times. Moshe Rabbenu was a nice man. Very obedient to Yithro, his father-in-law, a pagan priest of Madian. Zeyde (Yid.)/grandpa Yithro may be the first righteous among the nations as he saved Moses, gave him his daughter Zipporah. A thoughtful wife: she has proven to be an adult ever since they met and reminded her husband to circumcise their kids. This weekly portion is significant in many constant aspects that are essential for the spirit of Judaism. Read the rest of this blog »
Bar/bat mitzvah: gumption time or wise crackers?
Im eyn: Is God among us, or not?
Ma'yan: Living water and hope
Mitzvot: Free from slavery, bound to God
Laernen: neurons and experience
Makkot: when plagues are buggin' in
Bechor: mama's bigwig or God's firstborn
Shemot, Exodus, or who is who?
Kehilah: a call in utero
Vayechi: life: what kind of living?
Emunah: death or faith
How many 70 nations?
Bessorot tovot: good tidings
Chalom: time to update our dreams?
Kahal: are we members or stones?
Flickering lights, surplus of light
Tefillah = pray and work
Wrestling Yaakov: I have a dream...
Chaver: friend, comrade, rabbi or disciple...
Between plenty and famine
Vayetse: Gung ho and birth pangs
Mamash? Who's first, last or vice versa?
Born to bless
Akeida: bound to live / love
Lekh-lekha: out, in/into, let's move
Golmi, am I a golem - to be or not to be?
Bereishit: too bad to be new?
Hoshana Raba - send me a good note!
Sukkot: The first and the last
Tiftach, open the gates
Days of awe without fear
Chidush: New Year 5767
Min/man hu: whose, what? Sexâ€¦
Borderlands: Israelis and Ukranians
Musikah: The pen of the soul
Devorah - Devir: womanhood and righteousness
Corrupt or dizzy?
Fathers and citizens
Repairing the world
Good kids: yeladim tovim
Av or Imma
Days of wreath or of wrath?
Job is best
Unchain our hearts
Bones and souls on the move
Noah is avant-garde
Tattoo, taboo, nu-nu?
In time anytime
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