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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...

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

The other night I dreamt that I started smoking again and I was furious with myself; quitting smoking isn’t easy, and I was upset that I’d have to start that process all over again....

My Grandmother’s Diamond

This week’s Torah reading–Toledot–contains the famous story of Isaac “unknowingly” bestowing his blessing for Esau on Jacob. The text tells us that “Isaac was old, and his eyes were too weak to see,” so...

It’s A(braham’s) Wonderful Life

וַיֹּ֡אמֶר קַח־נָ֠א אֶת־בִּנְךָ֨ אֶת־יְחִֽידְךָ֤ אֲשֶׁר־אָהַ֙בְתָּ֙ אֶת־יִצְחָ֔ק וְלֶךְ־לְךָ֔ אֶל־אֶ֖רֶץ הַמֹּרִיָּ֑ה וְהַעֲלֵ֤הוּ שָׁם֙ לְעֹלָ֔ה עַ֚ל אַחַ֣ד הֶֽהָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֖ר אֹמַ֥ר אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ “And God said please take your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitzchak, and go...

"Lech Lecha" painting by Yehudit Englard

The “Lech Lecha” Moments In Our Lives

Lech Lecha may-artz’kha, mi molad’tkha, u mi bet avikha el ha-aretz asher arecka, “Go forth from your land, from your birthplace, from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.” God’s...

What We Can Learn From Mrs. Noah

This week we read Parashat Noah, the second weekly reading in the Torah, and it opens with God telling Noah to build an ark, gather his family and two of each animal, before the...