George Floyd and Racism in America -- June 2020

This has been a bad week in America. We in St Louis were witnesses to it six years ago, in Ferguson, in the shooting of Michael Brown. And the violence struck people here this week as well. Without minimizing the harm, this week's events can be an inspiration for progress, and there are signs of that as well. I begin by setting forth five truths that relate to the killing of George Floyd and Black life in America: 1. What the Minneapolis police officers did to George Floyd was obviously criminal -- they must be fully prosecuted. 2. Violent protests that kill, threaten to harm, destroy property, and loot are criminal -- they must be fully prosecuted. 3. Most protesters are not violent,

Parashat Naso – Sotah: Modern & Rabbinic Relevance

On its surface, the Sotah (Numbers 5:11-28), like other defunct practices in the Torah, may seem unworthy of much attention. In fact, in our times, the reader may find the section offensive to his/her sensibilities, and some will cite the Sotah as among the reasons to disparage Torah. I find myself drawn to these sections; they reveal something important about who we were and who we are; I offer my thoughts on why the Sotah procedure was actually insightful and worthy of extended attention. I urge you to read the relatively brief Torah section three times; it is only 18 verses but there is much packed in. So first, read it for a general understanding, then re-read it, this time a little

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