Where to go with Ki Tetzei? LOVE!

Note: This past week I spoke from the heart

Last Shabbat I was inspired and challenged by the words of Rabbi Avi Killip http://blog.hebrewcollege.edu/the-torah-needs-a-trigger-warning/

She wrote:

This summer Plaskow taught me to address the toxicity in Torah and Gadsby taught me not to smooth it over, apologize, or find a way to make it ok. It is not okay. As a rabbi and lover of Torah, it is hard to resist the urge to soften this text, maybe even redeem it through an insightful midrash, a creative interpretive move or even a pastoral emotional reading. Before we get there, we must sit with the pain. We should learn to feel hurt and even anger.

Judith Plaskow posits: “a feminist approach to Torah begins with a particular critical moment, a moment of personal affront or even a sense of assault.” These five lines of parshat Ki Tetzei are an assault. If we want to know why generations of men have considered it their God-given right to rape vulnerable women, we cannot overlook our Torah."

Abuse is common in every authoritarian and organized system.
The Church is not alone.
Thankfully, Jews are disorganized religion--so cover-ups are much harder.
Abuse is not a joke.  WE MUST call out every instance.  It is the only way to root it out.

I then transitioned to talking about all of the laws in the parsha.  My ultimate refrain was love. 

Love, love, love.

The Torah, laws, the commandments, the mitzvot are not just about love.  They ARE love.  Or at least they are supposed to be.  If we are interpreting them in a way that is causing pain (ie agunot), then WE are doing something wrong.  Ultimately, we need to find ways to ensure that Torah is a blessing for all and never a curse.

It's been an incredible week.  I've met SO many people.  About to go meet more--and it's time for Shabbat again.  I look forward to celebrating with you.  I didn't get to take photos of my jam session or a bunch of my meetings--but here are a few things.
Travelogue for the week:

Great conference last week about youth mental health and the church.  Thanks Starr for the invite!

We voted!

I learned about the amazing work of Gulf Coast JFS.

Great coffee at Black Crow
I went to visit someone at the hospital.  They were in Clearwater.  I went to downtown St. Pete.  I did see them the next day.  Next time, I'll check what hospital I go to!

I feel like a real Floridian!  Sandals and tefillin!