Author: Rabbi Elkodsi

Standing at the Edge of Promise

In 2003, my parents, of blessed memory, became snowbirds. They spent the winter in Sarasota, Florida and the summer in Trumbull, Connecticut where my sister and I were raised. One year, during the February...

a basket of fruits

No Hebrew? No Problem!

One of the most universal dreams–perhaps nightmares is a better word–are the ones where you show up in class totally unprepared, assuming you can even find the classroom! Of course, everyone else knows exactly what’s...

Ki Tetze, Amalek and Erasing Memory

This week’s Torah reading, Ki Tetze, ends with a command to the Israelites regarding the nation of Amalek, “Remember what Amalek did to you on your journey, after you left Egypt; how, undeterred by...

On Becoming A Jew

This week, I had the honor and privilege of helping to welcome four young women into the Jewish Community as they performed the ritual immersion at the mikveh. Each one came to Judaism from a different...

From Mourning to Dancing

In Psalm 30 King David writes, ba-arev yalin bekhi, v’laboker rina, “tears may linger for a night, but joy comes the morning.” The author also blesses the God who “changed my mourning into dancing, my...

The “Duh! Moments” in the Talmud

One of my student pulpits was in Kauneonga Lake, NY, in the Catskills. From July 4th weekend through Labor Day, the bungalow communities, hotels and communities come alive as many Orthodox Jews from the...

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...