Belinda Sutton stood before the court while her petition was read aloud. It described how she had been violently removed from her home, taken on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and forced to work in deplorable circumstances for nearly 50 years. However novel Belinda's effort may have been at the time, the call to be given what she was due was not new. Consider this week's parashah.
There are many magical moments in this week’s parashah. One was when Aaron cast his rod down in front of Pharaoh and his courtiers and behold! It turned into a serpent (Exodus 7:10).
There is something quirky when events remind us of prior ones. This is how I felt when I read the first chapter of Exodus.
When I was a student in the HUC-JIR School of Education, I went on a b'nei mitzvah weekend family retreat. On Shabbat morning, the Rabbi at Kehilat Israel in Pacific Palisades, California shared a story with the families. The story was a midrash, a story about the Torah portion Vayechi and a woman named Serach Bat Asher.
How do we describe the relationship between parents and children? How do we refer to the bond that exists? This week in Vayigash, our Torah text gives us language that many might find compelling.