Dressing for Service

A good friend writes, “Clothing is a prominent theme throughout the Bible.” Clothing is significant throughout Scripture, from the clothes God designed for Adam and Chavah in the Garden (Gen 3:21), to the wedding gown of the bride for her marriage to the Lamb (Rev 19:8). At times it provides covering against the elements, and at other times it serves as a symbol of rank or status.

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Russ Resnik
The Divine Recipe

God is the God of order and we see the divine recipe in Leviticus 24:7–8: “Also, you are to take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes of it, with two tenths of an ephah in each cake. Then you are to set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before Adonai. Set pure frankincense on each row, as a memorial portion for the bread, an offering by fire to Adonai.”

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Russ Resnik
Lost and Found

Let’s start with a sore subject: losing things. Wallets. Car keys. Expensive smart phones. IPads. Computers even. And sometimes we lose something to which we feel especially attached. We look everywhere and come to the grim realization that the object is gone. What happens then? Anger. Sadness. Self-reproach. Our loss is more than financial.

But all is not dark.

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Russ Resnik
The Uproar Within Our Hearts

Our parasha contains that momentous occasion when our people received the Torah at Mount Sinai. Due to the centrality of this pivotal moment in Jewish history, the rabbis have scrutinized, pondered, and debated every minute detail. One of their questions was, “How did they know that it was God speaking to them?”

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Russ Resnik
God is in the Neighborhood

Imitatio Dei, the imitation of God, is an idea with a long history in both the Jewish and Christian worlds (it’s a Latin phrase after all), and with surprising relevance today. From a Jewish perspective Imitatio Dei sounds like real chutzpah—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Russ Resnik
Wearing Redemption

“Bo knows.” About 20 years ago, Bo Jackson was a superstar athlete who played both baseball and football, and played them well. Nike picked him up and marketed his talent and prestige with the slogan that he knew what was going on. And so, this parasha, Bo, knows what’s going on.

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Russ Resnik
The Name that Doesn't Change

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.

Shakespeare’s famous soliloquy has Juliet asking why Romeo has to be called by that name, by that family. But what’s in a name, indeed?

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Russ Resnik
What's in a Name?

This week’s parasha, Shemot (“names”), is the beginning of the story of Israel’s redemption from Egypt. People who are named in the beginning of Exodus have something to teach us—those who are not named, like Pharaoh, have no enduring legacy.

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Russ Resnik
How Trust Can Be Restored

The news stream today is filled with stories of abuse and betrayal, and we might wonder whether deeds like this can ever be forgiven. And even if they are, can the perpetrators ever be trusted again? The tale of Joseph and his brothers answers such questions.

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Russ Resnik
Forgiveness Forms the Future

The long narrative of Joseph and his brothers is truly a story of “everything turns out okay in the end,” but more importantly it is a story of change, teshuvah (repentance), and forgiveness.

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Russ Resnik