We keep celebrating

“Most Jews throughout history have not been free, whether from murderous regimes or famines or pandemics. What we have been is devoted to the idea that we deserve to be.” – Alana Newhouse

This article from which I quoted above is one of my favourites I’ve read recently. In it, Alana Newhouse reflects: “The Passover Seder centers on the experience of being thrust out of our homes, but these days we feel trapped inside of them. The story involves miraculous plagues that saved us; today we pray for the end of one. There’s the commandment to clean our homes of all non-Passover food, which we just spent innumerable hours and dollars hoarding.” Continue reading “We keep celebrating”

Why does God harden Pharaoh’s heart?

Today, I spent a little time reflecting on Exodus 7:3 which says, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and I will increase My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.”

And of course I had the obvious question that people have had for millennia which is: Why would God need to harden Pharaoh’s heart since he was already obstinate? Continue reading “Why does God harden Pharaoh’s heart?”

What man knows ten thousand faces?

This past weekend, one of my best friends suggested that now is a good time to think about Albert Camus’ book The Plague. Since I hadn’t read it before and given the 1947 novel was likely to be particularly resonant now, I spent the weekend reading it.

It’s remarkable how relatable the book is to the current pandemic. And so, I’ve woven some observations along with passages from Camus’ novel that I found most striking.

Fear and serious reflection began when people who society typically doesn’t consider “vulnerable” began to be infected.

“But other members of our community, not all menials or poor people, were to follow the path down which M. Michel had led the way. And it was then that fear, and with fear serious reflection, began.” Continue reading “What man knows ten thousand faces?”