Rabbi Steven Nathan | Reconstructing Judaism

Rabbi Steven Nathan

Shabbat and Holiness

Is Shabbat a starting place from which to enter the week? Or is it a respite and refuge from the week that has already passed?

D'var Torah

Wrestling With...

Rabbi Steven Nathan writes a creative interpretation of Jacob’s night-long wrestling encounter with a mysterious being on the banks of the Jabbok.

D'var Torah

Be a Blessing

Avram and Sarai model a sense of trust in the face of uncertainty. How can we find that sense in our own lives?

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Standing Together This Day

At the beginning of this Torah portion, Moses tells the people, “You stand this day, all of you, before the Eternal your God.” Are we still standing there together? 

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First Fruits

At times when we prosper, why remember our humble beginnings? Rabbi Steven Nathan examines the ritual of memory and gratitude described in this Torah portion.

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Ownership and Return

We examine the mitzvah of returning lost objects, using it as a lens to think about how we regard property and possessions.

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Finding Healing in Separation

When does a disease bring its own cure with it? Rabbi Steven Nathan investigates the deeper meaning of the superficial ailments in Tazria and Metzora.

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Strange Fire: A Midrash

In this creative midrash on Parshat Shemini, Rabbi Steven Nathan delves into the experience of Aaron's sons Nadav and Avihu and their offering of “strange fire.”
 

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The Singing of the Oppressed

The Song at the Sea as the Israelites crossed from slavery into freedom echoes the timeless struggle for liberation.

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The Destruction of the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

What was the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? It may not be what you think. 

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Why Moses Did Not Become A Priest

The separation of powers between Moses and Aaron suggests a new level of trust in Biblical brotherly relationships.

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Nachshon: Did He Jump Or Was He Pushed?

Parshat Bemidbar refers to an obscure character in the Torah who becomes famous in the Midrash: Nachshon ben Aminadav, said to be the first Israelite to jump into the Red Sea while Pharaoh's armies approached. But did he jump, or was he pushed? 

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The Reminder of Tzitzit

Why do we need reminders, and what happens when we forget? We explore these questions in parashat Shelakh-Lekha. 

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Leadership

Korah claimed that all of the people were holy and that they should share in the special relationship with God. Rabbi Steven Pik-Nathan examines this claim and its motives in a reflection on leadership and authority.

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Equal Before God

Gender equality is often seen as a modern import into Judaism. In Parshat Pinhas, we find a far earlier precedent that planted the seeds for what was to come.

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