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The Blessings of Names

B’midbar, the book of “Numbers” in English, literally means, “in the wilderness.” Speaking to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, God commands him to bring some semblance of order to the chaos of Israelite...

The stars line up

Is it Contagious?

I grew up listening to the Fifth Dimension singing, “when the moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter, aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide the planet, and love will steer the stars.”...

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...

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...