Showing posts from June, 2020

D'var Torah on the ritual of the Sotah (for my Bat Mitzvah)

The verses of Numbers 5:11-31 are by far the most disturbing of Parsha Naso. They contain descriptions of a ritual which humiliates women and highlights their relative lack of agency in the ancient world. Nonetheless, I believe that it is our duty as Jews to wrestle with all that we have inherited and not pretend away the complexities in our sacred texts. Perhaps we can learn something from its shortcomings. You can read them here , if you like, but my d'var Torah, below, probably makes enough sense even if you can't. ----- During the Israelites’ last few months in Egypt, they knew something had to change.  They feared for their wellbeing, for their lives, for their children, and they called out to God to save them. Then they brought chaos into the streets. They destroyed the businesses and looted the homes of their oppressors before fleeing with Moses, out of bondage and subjugation, into an unknown wilderness.  Much of what we read in Torah post-exodus is thei