The longest night.
Happy (belated) New Year, trees!

Brass crescents and Torah study

Voting is complete in the second annual Brass Crescent Awards, and the winners have been announced. I'm delighted and humbled that this blog won honorable mention in the "Best Non-Muslim Blog" category. Many thanks to the award organizers for their work, and to everyone who helped bring about this honor.

This morning in shul we read Exodus 20, and had a fantastic discussion about the Torah portion (specifically about the version of the decalogue we had just read) which drew on a variety of sources. We looked at pairs of text in dialogue with one another. For instance, on the question of punishment and reward, generations, and responsibility we read some Ezekiel 18 to balance Exodus 20:5-6. On the matter of how the revelation was heard, we read a midrash about how each Israelite heard the Voice in her or his own way (find that here, "Come and see how the voice went forth to all of Israel, to each and every one in keeping with his particular capacity...") balanced by a d'var from rabbis Arthur Waskow and Phyllis Berman about hearing the commandments singly and collectively.

One of the counterpoint texts we explored was a quotation from the Qur'an which is strikingly similar to what we had just read from the Torah scroll. (Sura 6, "Cattle," verses 151-152.) Somehow, it feels appropriate to receive this nice news about the Brass Crescent Awards on a Shabbat when I was able to draw the Qur'an into our Torah discussion. May our two communities continue to be enriched by exploring our points of intersection!


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