Author: Rabbi Elkodsi

When Amalek Went Viral

The holiday of Purim this year coincides with the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus, which has prompted schools and other institutions to close, and synagogues to rethink their holiday plans. As with many, if...

Sacred Spaces, Sacred Communities

In looking at our current Torah readings, which contain detailed and repetitive instructions for the building of the Mishkan (sanctuary) in the wilderness–along with the things that will go in it and around it–and...

From the Outside Looking In

In this week’s Torah reading, Yitro, the Israelites receive the Torah from God on Mt. Sinai. It’s the defining moment of the birth of the Jewish people; the acceptance of God’s commandments and the...

The Mitzvah of Matza

In this week’s Torah reading, Bo, the Israelites get ready to leave Egypt. Following the plague of darkness, they were instructed to prepare a meal, a lamb or kid, וְאָכְל֥וּ אֶת־הַבָּשָׂ֖ר בַּלַּ֣יְלָה הַזֶּ֑ה צְלִי־אֵ֣שׁ...

The Heart of the Matter

In this week’s Torah reading, Va’era, we read about the first several of the 10 Plagues suffered by Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Each time, Pharaoh offers to let the Israelites leave Egypt if that...

Fear and Loathing in Ancient Egypt

On Sunday I attended Nassau County’s March and Rally against Antisemitism, where somewhere around 2,000 people of all faiths gathered to show support for the Jewish community in the wake of several recent hate...

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

The other night I dreamt that I started smoking again and I was furious with myself; quitting smoking isn’t easy, and I was upset that I’d have to start that process all over again....

It’s A(braham’s) Wonderful Life

וַיֹּ֡אמֶר קַח־נָ֠א אֶת־בִּנְךָ֨ אֶת־יְחִֽידְךָ֤ אֲשֶׁר־אָהַ֙בְתָּ֙ אֶת־יִצְחָ֔ק וְלֶךְ־לְךָ֔ אֶל־אֶ֖רֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּ֑ה וְהַעֲלֵ֤הוּ שָׁם֙ לְעֹלָ֔ה עַ֚ל אַחַ֣ד הֶֽהָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֹמַ֥ר אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ “And God said please take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitzchak, and go...