“‘And God spoke to Moshe in the wilderness of Sinai,’ — the place of revelation; ‘in the ohel mo’ed,’ — both the tent of community meeting, and a sacred fixed point in time. That’s where this verse places us: in the wilderness, in the middle of nowhere — which is where God speaks (or maybe where we hear), where we’re receptive as satellite dishes, at the nexus of holy space and holy time…”

Touching Eternity: Emor 5783. An image of Torah parchment, plus planet Earth, plus a Jewish calendar.

“This week’s Torah portion, Emor, gives us a roadmap for the spiritual flow of the Jewish year….”

This guest post is the D’var Torah that CBI member and cantorial soloist Ziva Larson offered at Shabbat and Pesach Morning Services on Saturday, April 8, 2023.

“…Granted, change may not be easy. Our spiritual ancestors went from Pharaoh’s frying pan into the fire of forty years of wilderness wandering. But the fact of a new path is hopeful even if the path is hard. Because nihilism and despair and paralysis say: nothing’s ever going to be different. What’s broken will always be broken and can never be mended, so it isn’t worth even trying. But it is worth trying…”

“…Those who seek to take away rights tend not to stop after taking rights or self-determination away from a single group…”

Who’s named and who’s not, what it means to remember (and forget) Amalek, and what this week’s Torah portion and Purim ask of us.

Constructing Sacred Boundaries: An Exploration of the Enclosure Around the Mishkan

This guest post is the D’var Torah that CBI member and cantorial soloist Ziva Larson offered at Shabbat Morning Services on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

“…Reproductive justice is a much broader framework than simply ‘the right to choose,; or even the right to choose plus access to safe reliable healthcare. It’s about everything: access to food, affordable shelter, education, ending carceral foster care, ending gun violence, and more. All of these are part of what it would really look like to rear children in a just world….”

“..Our ancient spiritual ancestors couldn’t sing the Song until they felt emunah in their bones. And they couldn’t feel emunah in their bones until they stepped into the sea. Which means they had to step into the sea before they felt ready. They had to take the plunge without knowing for sure what lay ahead and whether or not the water would part. On a smaller scale, we all have moments like that, on the cusp of change: marriage or divorce, birth or death, choosing a new beginning. There’s a moment when we have to decide to just – step into the sea, ready or not….”