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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...

Toldot: Because Labels Are For Cans

When I was growing up, perhaps in middle or high school, I remember having conversations with my friends about how we would never bring children into a world that was so messed up; we...

Vayera: Putting God On Hold

This week’s Torah reading, Vayera, opens with: Vayera ay-lav Ado-nai bay-lonay Mamray v’hu yoshev petakh ha-ohel b’khom hayom, “And God appeared to him (Abraham) by the groves of Mamre; he was sitting at the...

Ted Lasso’s Lech Lecha Moments

The second season of Ted Lasso, Apple TV’s award-winning TV show, finished last week, and I’m left with so many questions about what’s going to happen next season! If you haven’t been watching, Ted...

Noah: Because God Had To Grow Up Too

For a variety of reasons, I’ve been thinking very differently about this week’s Torah reading, Noach. In the past, I’ve focused on how Noah was ish tazdik tamim hayah b’dorotav, “a righteous and whole-hearted...

Nitzavim: Making A Difference To one Can Mean The World

In this week’s Torah reading, Nitzavim, Moses speaks to the assembled Israelies, nitzavim hayom kul’chem lifnay Ado-nai elo-haychem… l’ov-r’kha biv’rit Ado-nai elo-hecha “standing here today, together, in front of the Lord your God, to...

Ki Tavo: What Are We Really Afraid Of?

In this week’s Torah reading, Ki Tavo, we have what’s called the Tochecha, the curses or the rebukes; essentially, the terrible things that will happen if the Israelites, once settled in the Promised Land,...

Ki Tetze: A Divine Challenge

Parashat Ki Tetze is one of my favorites–not because of the litany of seemingly unrelated, and in some cases, harsh laws, but because it contains the first topic I studied in my “Intro to...

Seeing and Appearing

Re-eh, anokhi notayn lifnaykhem hayom b’rakha u-k’lalah “Re-eh, I am placing before you today blessing and curse” This week’s Torah portion is all about vision; the open word, re-eh, can mean “See!” or “Look!”...

Sukkah and the Olympics, How Does The Wind Blow?

For many people, reading Talmud is like Joan Rivers’ z”l comment about how calculus might have  prepared her to be a housewife; “so I can calculate the size of the living room? It’s six inches...