Author: Rabbi Elkodsi

Shoftim: Justice, Destruction and Harmony

Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.   The spotted lantern fly has arrived in our area, and we’re being advised to squash them if we see...

VaEtchanan: Until His Final Breath

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/maltin75/6278446183 “Observe God’s laws and commandments, which I enjoin upon you this day, that it may go well with you and your children after you, and that you may long remain in...

Parshat Pinchas: Looking For The Good

Photo: COSV from Wikimedia Commons. Women Gathering Wood, South Sudan My friend Sylvia (who says I’m her favorite female rabbi) is almost 98–may she live and be well–and is often troubled by the harsher...

Bekhukotai: What Do We Want From God?

The yearly Torah-reading cycle is a beautiful thing. Every week, when I look at the parashah for the upcoming Shabbat, I see something I hadn’t noticed before. I also the same words year-after-year, but...

Behar: Our Bodies, Ourselves, Our Land

This Shabbat we read parashat Behar, “on the mountain,” and from that mountain–Sinai–God gave Moses the commandments regarding Shmita and Yovel, the sabbatical and jubilee years, where the land was to lie fallow, not...

Kedoshim: How Are We Holy?

What does it mean to be kadosh, “holy,” or “sanctified”? I always used to think it meant “elevated,” or somehow, “better than” something or someone else. Dictionary.com would certainly have you believe that, but...

Achare Mot: “I Can Do It Myself!”

Photo credit: Flickr.com, Kenny Holston, Whiteman fitness center Years ago Joan Collins did a commercial for Jack LaLane Fitness Centers. She asked her butler to bring her her shoes and gym bag. When he...

Life: The Luck Of The Draw?

Image credit: pnging.com A few weeks ago, towards the end of Talmud Tractate Megilla, I wrote about various sages in the Talmud who lived to “old age,” whatever that meant 2,000 years ago, and...

Vayechi: Spiritual Support For The Dying

Photo credit: D-Gernz on Flickr This week’s Torah reading, Vayechi, begins by telling us that our patriarch Jacob, “lived 17 years in the land of Egypt,” once he had been reunited with his beloved...

Vayetze: 50 Years Later

Mark Chagall, “Jacob’s Dream, 1966 This Shabbat marks 50 years since I read the haftarah for Vayetze at my Friday night bat mitzvah at Congregation B’nai Torah in Trumbull, CT. Where has the time...