Jan 08

Exodus – Kings and Gods

A few weeks ago, the film Exodus – Kings and Gods was launched and, in anticipation of the upcoming Torah readings about the liberation of the Israelites from slavery, I decided to watch the movie. I wanted to see how the authors of the film interpreted the biblical narrative. I was disappointed in the film in so many ways. I never expected to see a movie that was close to the bible’s narrative, and/or to Jewish interpretation, but in my opinion the film’s only goal was to devalue the Bible. The filmmakers presented a crude idea of a shizophrenic Moses who caused Israel to become insane followers of a cruel, child-murdering God.This film is not the first attempt at finding scientific explanations for the 10 plagues, and to devalue Moses’ prophecy as a kind of mental delusion. Usually, I don’t mind these attempts, as long as they respect and don’t vilify those who have a different understanding of the Torah. Unfortuantely this film has no intention of doing so.
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Permanentlink zu diesem Beitrag: http://www.simanija.eu/2015/exodus-kings-and-gods/

Nov 28

Wajeze: Jakobs Feilschen mit Gott?

Der Wochenabschnitt Wajeze berichtet von Jakobs Reise nach, seinem Leben in, und seiner Flucht aus Haran. Er erzählt von Jakobs erster Begegnung mit Rachel und von den Jahren, die er für Laban arbeiten muss. Der Bericht schildert die gemeinsamen Lebensjahre mit Rachel und Lea und die Geburt der ersten 11 Söhne und die von Dina.
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Permanentlink zu diesem Beitrag: http://www.simanija.eu/2014/wajeze-jakobs-feilschen-mit-gott/

Nov 26

Vayetze: Bargaining with God ?

1280xParashat Vayetze tells of Jacob’s travels to Haran, his sojourn there, and his return to Canaan. It recounts Jacob’s first meeting with Rachel, his time working for Laban, living with Rachel and Leah, and the birth of all his children save Benjamin. Jacob has a dream in which he sees a ladder set upon the earth reaching up to the heavens. God appears at the top of the ladder and promises Jacob he will inherit the land of Canaan. He promises Jacob, saying: “Remember I am with you.” Jacob wakes up and offers the first recorded Jewish prayer in the Bible:
“If God remains with me; if He protects me on this journey that I am making and gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s house – the Eternal will be my God …”
There is something troubling about Jacob’s prayer. It sounds more like Jacob is saying ‘let’s make a deal’ than the exalted theological language we would expect from one of our forefathers. More than that, his vow is strange because he seems to be asking for the very things that God has already promised him!
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Permanentlink zu diesem Beitrag: http://www.simanija.eu/2014/parasha-vayetze-bargaining-with-god/

Nov 20

A ‘light’ for Israel

Adrian KleinerDear friends,

The news that overwhelms us in the media about the terrorist attacks in Israel saddens me in a myriad of ways. It is hard to withhold my tears over the dead in Jerusalem, and like my fellow Jews across the world, I mourn for the victims of the latest attacks across the whole country.

Less than a year ago I lived in Israel for a while, and walked through the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem daily. I felt safe, and had the feeling that we finally could see a glimpse of a new era for Israel – a place where Jews can live in safety, secure with their neighbours of all creeds. And now? Once again, our friends in Israel are filled with fear when they go out in public. Once again, words have become deadly weapons, as those around us use them to call for violence. Holy sites, places that should actually be filled with peace and security, have become places of grief and terror.
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Permanentlink zu diesem Beitrag: http://www.simanija.eu/2014/a-light-for-israel/

Nov 13

Parashat Chayei Sarah: Death is not the end

avrams-tombWhen someone we love passes away, we experience deep sorrow and grief. We miss that person’s presence and caring. We miss the support and all that we shared. Jewish mourning rituals and customs are meant to help us cope, to face the loss realistically, and to find comfort. Jewish tradition helps us to understand that “death is not the end” but rather that our loved ones continue to live in our memory and keep influencing the ones left behind.

In this regard, this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, provides us with a very important tool. While Chayei Sarah may be translated as “Sarah’s lifetime,” our parashah actually deals with Sarah’s death, how Abraham dealt with it, and how life continued for her family after this big break, just before Yitzchak and Rivka start their own new family.
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Permanentlink zu diesem Beitrag: http://www.simanija.eu/2014/parashat-chayei-sarah-death-is-not-the-end/

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