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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,...

Two people blindfolded and reaching out to each other across the sky.

Who Can You Trust?

I’ve never subscribed to the idea that illness and misfortune are Divine retribution for sins, and while our sacred texts–especially the Prophets–clearly relate bad things that happen to the people Israel’s sinful behavior, I...