Editor's Note: 5774 will be a special treat for online readers of "Sabbath Week." The Jewish Week is thrilled to bring our weekly Torah commentary together with artist Archie Rand's "Chapter Paintings:" one accompanies, illustrates and illuminates every Torah portion. The art will be available first on the Jewish Week's homepage slide carousel, and then on our Arts page carousel... that is, until the next week, when the next portion, painting and dvar Torah take their turn. Read more about the artist and his work here.
The more things change, the more they stay the same…
Though the Torah is, by anyone’s definition, an ancient document, its “cast of characters,” if you will, often portray sensitivities that are strikingly relevant to contemporary concerns. One area in particular in which this is evident is in the responsibility of those in leadership positions to be worthy of the trust that others put in them, particularly with regard to fiduciary duty.
We have all become familiar with the tactics of bigots who distort our religious beliefs or make up horrible lies to advance their hatred. Fortunately, most people in our pluralistic society recognize and reject these tactics.
But how would we respond to a skeptic who points to the morally troubling verse, “When...the Lord your God delivers them to you and you defeat them, you must utterly doom them to destruction: grant them no terms and give them no quarter” (Deut. 7:1-2)?