fbpx Moses' Encounters with God | Page 2 | Reconstructing Judaism

Moses' Encounters with God

Spoken Audio

Community Teaching: Rabbi Maurice Harris by Jewishrecon

In this Community Learning call from November 21, 2017, Rabbi Maurice Harris talks about the strange way the Torah tells us about Moses’ up-close encounters with God, contradicting itself purposely within the space of nine verses. Two consecutive stories in the Book of Exodus confront us with a crucial paradox about how it is or isn’t possible to encounter the Divine, leaving us as readers with something like an “impossible” mental picture that we may be tempted to try to resolve or to hold as a fruitful paradox. Either way, the mental image these two texts generate beckon us to keep trying to look again and again, despite the endless loop the image generates in our minds.

TRANSCRIPT WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON.

Theology, Textual Sources
Associate Director for Thriving Communities and Israel Affairs Specialist, Reconstructing Judaism

Related Resources

When You Say God, What Do You Mean?

When we say “God” what do we mean? Ideas of God have changed dramatically over Jewish history. These Powerpoint slides explore some of that evolution. These slides accompanied Rabbi Maurice Harris’s talk from the Global Day of Jewish Learning, 2010.

Document

Changing the Equation: A Reflection On God

Rabbi Toba Spitzer offers a reconceptualization of our image of God through the vehicle of process theology.

Sermon

Eco-Judaism (Is There Any Other Kind?!):  How Torah Pushes the Sustainability Envelope

“Love of the Creator, and love of that which G!d has created, are finally one and the same,” wrote Martin Buber.  Defending this divine creation in an era of climate change is a Jewish (and social, political, and moral) imperative.

Video

Why We Need Process Theology

What is “process theology”? Rabbi Toba Spitzer argues that it offers ways to think and talk about God that make sense in a modern scientific framework, that resonate with Jewish texts and traditions, and that promote wise and ethical behavior.

Document

Shavuot Theology

How are we to understand the traditional claim that the Torah is divinely revealed? And what exactly is the Torah that was revealed? Rabbi Jacob Staub examines Reconstructionist theology through the lens of the holiday of Shavuot. This article is excerpted from the Guide to Jewish Practice. 

Article

Building a Personal Relationship with a Nonpersonal God

Staub recounts his spiritual biography and offers ideas about how to build a personal relationship with God. 

Article

Rejecting Chosenness in Favor of Distinctiveness

Waxman asks if it is “possible to believe that all people are created equal and to believe that Judaism is superior to other religions.”

Article

Reconstructionism, Chosenness, and the Abrahamic Dialogue

Fuchs-Kreimer describes how respect for interfaith colleagues led her to re-examine Jewish beliefs she once dismissed out of hand. 

Article

Can a Reconstructionist Sin?

Since Reconstructionist Judaism affirms a conception of God as a force, power or process — but not as a supernatural Being who can be addressed and can respond — what happens to the notion of sin? Rabbi Richard Hirsh argues that Reconstructionist theology makes it more, not less, important that we take on the responsibility for judgment, atonement, apology and repentance

Article

What's God Have to Do With It?

How do we address life's tough questions from the Reconstructionst framework of a non-supernatural God? 

Sermon

Adonai-Elohim: The Two Faces of God

When good people suffer, where is God? In this influential piece, Rabbi Harold Schulweis grapples with deep questions about God’s role in the world and in our lives. 

Article

The Intricacies of Consent

An act of consent lies at the heart of the whole rabbinic Jewish enterprise. The rabbis understood the covenant at Sinai to be the foundational moment of the ongoing relationship between God and the Jewish people. In order for the covenant to be valid, Israel must have agreed to it.

Article
News and Blogs

Is God to Blame When Bad Things Happen?

When you stop believing that God is the cause of everything that happens to us, you don’t necessarily stop believing in the presence of the divine that infuses all things.

News
News and Blogs

Where is God in This?

Rabbi Jacob Staub brings Hasidic thought to bear on a contemporary spiritual question.

News
News and Blogs

Asking for Help

How do you ask for help from a non-supernatural God? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores.

News