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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...

A Prayer and a Pitchfork

I love studying Talmud, and one of the reasons is because it allows me to get into the hearts, lives and minds of our rabbinic sages, the people who struggled to make our sacred...

a labyrinth with sonnets and candles.

Mourning and Memory

Tisha B’Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, is a day of national and collective mourning for the Jewish people. On this date in 586 BCE and again in 70CE, Jerusalem,...

The Challenges of Leadership

A record (remember those?) I used to listen to was called “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish” by Bob Booker and George Foster. At about the 12-minute mark is a sketch called, “The Presidents.”...

Is It Better This Way Or This Way?

It’s time for a new pair of glasses with a new prescription, and that started me thinking about this week’s Torah reading, Shelach Lecha. It begins with God telling Moses to send 12 men,...