When You Go Back Out

On the first Shabbat back in our sanctuary, Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discusses this week’s parasha, “Ki Tetze” — “When You Go Out.”: “Perhaps because ‘Ki Tetze’ begins with going out to war, much of the rest of the parasha is about striving for peace, social order, compassion and decency. The Torah emphasizes that even if violence is permitted, we do not strive for violence. These are decrees intended to inculcate humanity in us.”


The Long Walk to Freedom

Today is an important day: June 19th, the day that the emancipation finally arrived to the slaves of Galveston. It wasn’t the exact day they were freed, recalled the descendants of the slaves, but that’s the day they told them that they were free,” says our Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch. “It was the same for our people. They became free when they told each other: ‘We are free. We are not returning to Egypt. We are marching forward to the Promised Land.



Judaism was never big on self-denial,” says Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch discussing this week’s parashah. “Holiness is expressed through ethical actions. Fundamentalists and extremists distort the mainstream Jewish tradition of seeking moderation, logic and reason.


Freedom and Responsibility

Passover and Shavuot are linked conceptually, which is why we count down the days,” says Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch. “You can’t have freedom — Passover — without law — Shavuot. If we do not embrace responsibility, we will not be able to sustain our liberty.