Conversation, sparked by yarn

This week's portion: a Torah soap opera.

This week we're in parashat Beha'alotcha, which includes the fascinating story of Miriam and Aaron getting uppity, God striking Miriam with snow-white scales, and Moses offering a beautiful spontaneous prayer on his sister's behalf.

Miriam, Aaron, and God all seem pretty frustrated in this story. Honestly, it's a real soap opera. That's my path in to this week's Torah portion in my post over at Radical Torah:

It's easy to come away from this story shaking one's head at everyone in it. Again and again, during the story of the Israelites' wanderings in the wilderness, the children of Israel disappoint God. They fail to live up to God's expectations. They make poor choices, they are driven by greed, they allow their fears to rule the day. What's interesting here is that I think an argument can be made that God occasionally disappoints the children of Israel, too. This week's narrative is one of flashing anger and vindictive punishment -- not the boundless compassion and limitless understanding we might have hoped for.

Read the whole thing here: Offering God compassion.

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