Jewish Journal

Rabbi Toba August

  • Small Things Add Up

    August 10, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    My friend announced that she was off to Hawaii, and I was surprised that she could afford to go when her job paid a minimal salary.

    "I saved my pennies," she said.

    I know that I often tell a cashier to "keep the pennies," as if the penny is so insignificant, as if it does not...

  • Make Days Count

    May 11, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    When I was in my early 30s I joined a havurah, a group of professionals seeking a deeper Jewish involvement. And during this time of year, just after Passover, we didn't know what to do with the counting of the Omer. How could we make it relevant and purposeful?

    We studied the...

  • Find Your Melody

    February 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    This Shabbat is called Shabbat Shirah and is named for the "Song of the Sea" sung by Moses and the Israelites after they experienced the redemption at the splitting of the Red Sea.

    What was it, the rabbis asked, that evoked shirah, song, at this point and not earlier when they...

  • Go Forth, Find You

    November 10, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    "The longest journey is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny...." -- Dag Hammarskjold, "Markings" (1964)

    I recently saw the film, "In Her Shoes," and was inspired by the personal transformation of the sister played by Cameron Diaz.

    This character had the courage to...

  • Wonders, Wizardry and Magic

    November 15, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" opens in movie theaters today. Will it just be a magical adventure that entertains us, or are there deeper lessons that our Jewish souls can learn?

    Below are seven middot (Jewish values) found in Pirkei Avot and in "Harry Potter and the...