Mishpatim 5781: And They Saw the God of Israel? Language, Allegory and Representation

Posted by Leon Morris on February 8, 2021
Topics: Pardes from Jerusalem, Torah, Shemot (Exodus), Mishpatim

The essence of Judaism seems to be encapsulated by a broad reading of the first two of the Ten Commandments: There is one God, and God has no body. With that as a basis of faith, we may be unnerved by reading the verses from this week’s parashah, Mishpatim, when we come to Shemot 24:9-11 which describes a visual encounter with God. What does it mean to represent God in language, and how are linguistic representations different from visual ones? Turning to classical commentators, philosophy and abstract art, we will try to expand our notion of what it means to “see God.”

Sponsored by Zara 4.5, Jules Scarlett 2.5, and their parents Sacha Litman and Rochelle Behrens
in memory of their grandfather, Jack T. Litman, Z”L on his 11th Yahrzeit.
His only regret was to not have had the opportunity to meet his grandchildren.

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Rabbi Leon Morris – President of Pardes and Host for Pardes from Jerusalem
Rabbi Adam Titcher – Lead Consultant and Producer
Arlene Harel – Faculty Coordinator

About Leon Morris

Rabbi Leon Morris is the President of Pardes and is the first alumnus to head the institution (Year Program alumnus '94-'95; Summer Program alumnus '93 and '94). Leon made aliyah with his wife Dasee Berkowitz (Pardes Year Program alumna '94-'95) and their three children in June 2014, after serving as the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. He was the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El (now the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center) in Manhattan. Before coming to Pardes, Leon served as a Vice President for Israel Programs at the Shalom Hartman Institute and was a faculty member at Hebrew Union College. Click here to read more.

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