wgafney's blog

Joseph and Family Values

My commentary on Genesis 45:1-15 for WorkingPreacher.org.
The story of Joseph's reunion with his brothers is among the most tender in the scriptures.

His own brothers hated him, (Genesis 37:4), and kidnapped him, (Genesis 37:23). They had even planned to murder him, (Genesis 37: 18ff). They "settled" for selling him into slavery, (Genesis 37:28), a possible if not likely death sentence.

Elijah, You're Fired!

My commentary on 1 Kings 19:9-18 for WorkingPreacher.com.
Elijah has had a good run, literally and figuratively.

He has decimated Queen Jezebel's religious community by personally executing her four hundred prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:40. That he neither executed nor challenged her four hundred and fifty prophets of Asherah, (see verse 19ff), points to a broader acceptance of the Asherah tradition.

Love Triangle: Leah, Rachel and Jacob

My commentary on Genesis 29:15-28 from WorkingPreacher.com.
This is the story of the Mothers and Fathers of Israel and their descendents, the people of Israel. Rebekah and Isaac have sent their son Jacob to his mother's brother Laban, with instructions to marry one of his daughters, (the as yet unnamed Leah and Rachel in Genesis 27:46-28:1).

Shabbat Bechukotai (My Statutes)

Somehow I’m in Leviticus again. I didn’t do it on purpose. This time. I know I’ve drashed this parsha before, but according to my files it was in a year that B’har and B’chukotai were together and I scrolled to the B’har side of the Torah. Today we are plumb in B’chukotai which I would like to sum up as:

If...then...If you...then I will...If you don’t...then I won’t...

Osama bin Laden and the Image of God

Yesterday I preached a sermon on the image of God. The death of Osama bin Laden provides an opportunity for me to practice what I preach and proclaim that even he, the mastermind of terrorist attacks on Spain, the United States, Tanzania, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and places that we may never know, responsible for the murders of thousands - more than three thousand on 9/11 alone - even Osama bin Laden was a bearer of the Divine image having been created in the image of God.

Leviticus, the Heart of Torah (Shabbat V'Yiqra)

Leviticus 1:1-6:7

And now, a word from our sponsor… as we pause with our sheroes and heroes between Exodus begun and exodus enumerated on the sands of Sinai waiting for the Sanctuary to shift, seconding the soaring sentinels of smoke and fire. We have arrived at the heart of Torah with this sepher within the sepher. Though it too has a heart.

‏קרבן (Qorban)