Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Grace in the wilderness: Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)
The book of Bamidbar, literally “in the desert” or “in the wilderness,” is a hard book to read. Over and over, plagues break out and. . .
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
What happened at Sinai
This week’s double Torah portion, Behar-Bechukotai, begins: “And the Lord spoke to Moshe at Mount Sinai” (Leviticus 25:1). At the end of our. . .
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The cure for anger: Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)
Life is not easy. In fact, at times it’s downright infuriating. Our natural tendency is to want to blame someone, and the easiest target is God. We. . .
Friday, April 19, 2013
Who is like you?
Nathan was a young man in his 20s, living in Gulfport, Miss. He lived with his mother and grandmother in a small three-bedroom home a little over a. . .
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Healing the broken – Parashat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1-15:33)
Most people try really hard to avoid having their bar or bat mitzvah on the Shabbat when we read Tazria-Metzora. I know this not only because I am a. . .
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Kosher Without Sacrifice?
The most elaborate, comprehensive and effective system for the prevention of animal cruelty was not invented by the FDA or even PETA; it was devised. . .
Thursday, March 28, 2013
The chametz within
Rejoice! Spring has arrived, and Pesach is here. The time of our liberation is at hand. The Exodus from our narrow straits is re-enacted once more.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Willing to sacrifice
The mind of the midrashist drifts effortlessly over the face of the Tanakh as verses from the Torah conjure up similar verses and phrases from other. . .
Thursday, March 14, 2013
A divine call to action
Once, on a mission to Israel, we needed a minyan for a prayer service during the airplane flight. We were a total of six men in our group, so we. . .
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Building Our Mishkan
The ancient sages teach us that the Torah is exceedingly careful with language. No phrase is superfluous. Each word or letter is part of the. . .
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
God’s road rage
What’s up with God?
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Wearing your true self
We are taught from a young age not to “judge a book by its cover” and we raise our children to look deeper than just at the clothes someone is. . .
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Sharing the Infinite - Parashat Terumi (Exodus 25:1-27:19)
You shall make a sanctuary for me and I will dwell among them” (Exodus 25:8).
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
On equal footing
I watched President Barack Obama’s second inauguration from the hospital room of my 92-year-old friend Harriet. She was having an EKG during it,. . .
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Power of ten
Sometime during the 13th century, in a private study in Barcelona, an anonymous author sat and composed “Sefer HaChinuch” (“The Book of. . .
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Hardship and rebirth: Parashat Beshalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)
In these dark, cold days of winter, it’s so easy to lose hope. Add to this the hardships of loss, with which life seems intent on liberally. . .
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Opportunity of a setback
This week’s parasha is one of the most central to the Jewish narrative. We read of the final plagues, the storm brought by God’s mighty hand and. . .
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Are you awake?
There is an old midrash to explain how Moshe discovered his Jewish identity and woke up to his calling as a teacher and prophet. Yocheved, Moshe’s. . .
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
What is in a Name?
This week we begin a new book of Torah — Shemot in Hebrew and Exodus in English. While the word “exodus” means “going out,” the word. . .
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Drawing close: Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)
With his brother Benjamin’s fate hanging in the balance, Yehuda “draws close” to the Egyptian viceroy (whose true identity is not yet known).. . .
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Measure for measure: Parashat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)
There are a good many details about the Joseph narratives that elude ready explanation. We absorb them readily and ignore them just as readily.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Power of words
In our age of Facebook and Twitter, we know all too well how fast words can spread. When I was a kid, we played the game telephone, passing a word or. . .
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Jacob’s stand: Parashat Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43)
Jacob returns to Canaan, where 20 years earlier he fled his brother Esau’s wrath after stealing his birthright. But time does not seem to have. . .
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
In this week’s parasha, Yaakov flees for his life, departing from Beersheva back to Charan — back to the beginning. How optimistic it had been. . .