Author: SusanSchwam

Batter Up – Stepping Up

Parashat Pinchas is about leadership, and about stepping up to the plate. In contrast to Korach, who rebelled against the leadership of Moses and Aaron for his own purposes, Pinchas, Aaron’s grandson, is rewarded...

How Not To Stage A Rebellion

Korach ben Izhar, I’ve misjudged you, and I owe you an apology. You challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron, and ultimately of God and Torah, and for that you paid, along with 250...

black or white, it's still coffee.

Why Black Lives Need to Matter to Jews

Today is Juneteenth, an African-American holiday commemorating the day, in 1865, that news of the abolishment of slavery reached the state of Texas. You can read more about it here: https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm As Jews, we...

A Grandparent’s Blessing

While I don’t (yet) have grandchildren of my own, there are a few kids out there who call me “Rabbi Grandma,” and it’s something I cherish. I don’t get to see them often, but...

My Grandmother’s Diamond

This week’s Torah reading–Toledot–contains the famous story of Isaac “unknowingly” bestowing his blessing for Esau on Jacob. The text tells us that “Isaac was old, and his eyes were too weak to see,” so...

What We Can Learn From Mrs. Noah

This week we read Parashat Noah, the second weekly reading in the Torah, and it opens with God telling Noah to build an ark, gather his family and two of each animal, before the...

Dying to Live Our Best Life

It could be said that our patriarch, Jacob, was the first person to create an ethical will, essentially, a spiritual bequest to his heirs. In this week’s Torah reading, Vayechi, which means, “and he–meaning...