Queen Salome Alexandra, Heroine of Chanukah

Queen Salome Alexandra, Heroine of Chanukah  by Rabbi David Hartley Mark             I have often said that Judaism, like its two sister faiths, is a “Boys’ Club,” in which the Boys, or Men, get the best parts, and the women are relegated to baking challah, lighting holiday and Shabbat candles, and going to mikvah. I […]

Vayayshev by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Joseph and Others: Another Side of His Story by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Joseph (Enters grandly, to the sound of trumpets; stands haughtily, as to the manner born): You will note, Readers, that I am wearing my royal robes as Regent, Vice-Pharaoh, Minister of Agriculture, and practically every other Egyptian Government office; that pharaoh, […]

This Thanksgiving, Thank God You’re American: The Tale of Asser Levy, New Amsterdam Jew, 1654

This Thanksgiving, Thank God You’re American: The Tale of Asser Levy, New Amsterdam Jew, 1654 by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Sholom Aleichem, Stranger! My name is Asser, Asser Levy, of—so many places! First Spain, then Holland; Brazil after, and now, America. And you know, something about you made me take you for a Jew. […]

Vayetzei by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Vayaytsay: An Evening with Laban, Jacob’s Father-in-Law by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Come in, come in, Stranger! Welcome to my humble tent. I am Laban, sheikh of this little tribe—look around my home! As you can see, I have two daughters, Leah and Rachel, a fine son-in-law, Jacob, and grandchildren enough. Sit here, by […]

Toldot by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Toledote: At Home with Isaac and Rebecca: The Middle Years by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   (Night in the Desert. Isaac sits alone at a campfire. He drinks slowly from a cup of spiced wine, pokes at the embers of the dying fire, and soliloquizes.) Isaac: Father is dead; his chief steward, Eliezer, is also […]

Chayay Sarah by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Chayay Sarah: The Life of Keturah, Ibrahim’s Concubine by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Ibrahim took a concubine [after Sarah’s death], whose name was Keturah. She bore him [six sons]. Ibrahim willed all that he owned to Isaac; but to [his] sons by concubines, Ibrahim gave gifts while he was still living, and he sent […]

Vayeira by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

King Abimelech, Sarah, and Abraham (Genesis 20) by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Greetings, Stranger! You may approach my throne, and touch the tip of my scepter. Why? Why, to show that I am your liege lord and ruler, for as long as you visit my kingdom, that of Philistia, in this, my capital city […]

Lech-Lecha by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Lech-Lecha: The Testimony of Nachor, Brother of Avram by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Welcome to my humble tent, Stranger! Sit, and my wife Milcah will fetch you some water to wash your feet. Then, she will bake flat fire-cakes—won’t you, My Dear?—and serve us cakes, milk, and cheese. Roast lamb? With dairy? Ugh! No, […]

Noach by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

A Report from Noah’s Next-Door Neighbor by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   These are the generations of Noah. Noah was in his generation a purely righteous man: Noah walked with GOD. …And the earth was depraved before God, and  replete with violence. …And God said unto Noah: I am putting an end to all flesh; […]

Beraysheet by Rabbi David Hartley Mark

Beraysheet: A Few Words from God the Creator by Rabbi David Hartley Mark   Another year gone by so quickly—and here we are again, at My Creation. What do I think of men and women today? When I remember the Past (which I do in great detail), well, Humankind, it’s a been quite a ride. […]