Showing posts from November, 2018

After the Massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh

These are the thoughts I shared with the community on Saturday, November 3, one week after the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In the Torah reading this shabbat, Abraham suffers the loss of his wife Sarah. We read ויבוא אברהם לספוד לשרה ולבכותה - Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and cry for her. But then Abraham has to begin negotiations to find a burial plot for his wife Sarah. And so he approaches his neighbors, the Hittites, and says גר ותושב אנכי עמכם ger ve-toshav anokhi imakhem - I am a stranger and resident alien in your midst. Will you sell me a grave so I can bury my wife? And they respond to him -- נשיא אלקים אתה בתוכנו -- nesi elokim atah be-tokheinu - Abraham, you may think of yourself as a stranger and resident alien, but to us, you are a leader. In fact, you are נשיא אלקים- you are raised up by God! We hold you in high esteem! Well, if you read to the end of this passage, it turns out that the Hittites don’t end up holding him in high estee