by Chava Gal-Or - July 5, 2013
Throughout my life I have come to understand that we can always learn something from the stories we hear and experience, even the ones that push our buttons.
This week's parshiot (Torah readings) present many challenges to progressive thinkers. In Matot-Masei, women's vows can be altered by their fathers and husbands, kingdoms are destroyed so that the Israelites can conquer and/or inhabit them, and imperialism is at an all time high. Knowing that the Torah portion was written when the sociological fabric of society was not what it is today encourages me to look more deeply at the white space between the words, so that I might find new insight into these old and challenging stories. After reading some fantastic commentaries, I was able to do just that.