Parashat T’rumah presumes that we can ask people to donate and they will freely, lovingly, and generously give of themselves. What is the nature of generosity? Why are some people natural givers, while others are takers? Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism,raises questions about philanthropy and ideas about giving not just money, but of ourselves, and whether we can teach that behavior to others.
There’s a notable phrase in Parashat Mishpatim: “An eye for an eye.” Taken literally, this sentence makes it seem like valuing revenge as a substitute for justice is Jewish tradition. We know that’s not true, so what does “an eye for an eye” mean? Listen to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism discuss what fairness means according to Jewish law.
In Parashat Yitro, Moses gains wisdom and insight from his father-in-law, Jethro. What Moses gains from Jethro changes the course of his leadership, and in turn, has an extraordinary effect on the Jewish people. But there's one important detail about Jethro that's important to mention: he's not Jewish. In this week's episode of On the Other Hand, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, talks to Evan Traylor, the URJ's first ever Presidential Fellow for Millennial Engagement. They discuss what it's like to grow up in an interfaith family, and why anyone who wants to be part of a community should be audaciously welcomed.
Did you know that instead of wandering in the desert for 40 years, the Israelites could have used a shortcut that would get them to their destination in only two weeks? But the decision to wander was an intentional one that lead to a deliberate, challenging, and critical journey. Listen to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, discuss Parashat B’shalach, and the journey of the Jewish people from Egypt to Canaan.