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A Water-Optional Tashlich

When I was young, “doing tashlich” meant walking down to the little brook in our front yard and throwing in bread crumbs. Whether or not that water was actually moving was unclear, but we...

When Rosh Hashanah falls on 9/11

In 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the Empire State Building between the 78th and 80th floors, killing 14 people. It was clearly an accident, so 17 years ago when I received a...

Enchantment, the Talmud and Memory

When I was a teenager, I loved going to Rabbi Wallin’s Tuesday evening Talmud class. I can’t tell you anything that I learned all those years ago, but I fell in love with Talmud,...

Hayom Harat Olam, the Birth-day of the World

After each of the sets of shofar blasts in our upcoming Musaf service, we’ll proclaim, Hayom Harat Olam! “Today is the birthday of the world.” It’s a very curious phrase, and the literal translation...

Leveling the Playing Field

This week’s Torah reading, Re’eh, presents an interesting progression of commandments regarding caring for the less fortunate in our communities and society. First we’re told, in Chapter 15 verses 4 and 5, “There shall...

Tisha B’Av – Beyond the Temple

Yesterday, on Tisha B’Av, the organization “Bend The Arc” held a gathering on the steps of the Nassau County Legislature building in Mineola to request that Nassau County stop cooperating with ICE. Tisha B’Av...