Author Archives: Amos Lassen

Amos Lassen

About Amos Lassen

Amos Lassen was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. After getting his M.A., he made aliyah and lived in Israel for many years as a member of a kibbutz near Degania Bet. He served as supervisor of secondary English education for the State of Israel and taught at several universities there. Amos is the founder of Literary Pride—a gay reading group, and Cinema Pride—a gay movie group. He is extremely proud of two accomplishments—getting the Arkansas Literary Festival to recognize gay literature and for organizing the first GLBT film festival in the state

Parashat Ekev: Taking Steps

Jews read sections of the Torah each week, and these sections, known as parshiyot, inspire endless examination year after year. Each week we will bring you regular essays examining these portions from a queer perspective, drawn from the Torah Queeries online collection, which was inspired by the book Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible. This week, Amos Lassen considers what Moses can teach us about LGBT pride.

Boston Pride

Boston Pride/Bonnie Rosenbaum

The book of Deuteronomy focuses on the time just before the death of Moses. The Israelites are encamped on a plateau in Moab, poised to enter the land of Israel. Parashat Eikev, the third Torah portion in Deuteronomy, opens with Moses addressing the assembled Israelites. Eikev translates from Hebrew as “if” or “as a consequence of.” Yet, the literal translation of “eikev” is “heel” and comes from the same root as the name “Ya’akov” (Jacob), who was so named because he was holding onto the heel of his twin, Esau, when the two were born. We, therefore, can read Deuteronomy 7:12 as saying, “And it will come to pass on the heel of your hearkening to these rules. . .” Nothing in life occurs in a vacuum, nothing happens just by itself; everything happens “eikev” — on the heel of everything else. As we venture through life, we are always dependent on someone or something and as we strive to achieve our goals, we rely on each other and G-d.

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Posted on July 22, 2013

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