Tagged: judaism

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...

Trouble for the Kohen with Trouble

  This Shabbat we read parashat Emor, which includes a discussion about certain physical conditions that disqualify a kohen from performing his sacrificial duties. Leviticus 21:17-23 list these conditions–blemishes, limps, a hunchback, a broken...

The Year of Narrowing

The Year of Narrowing

Mitzrayim, “the narrow places.” In our Torah reading cycle, we left Mitzrayim, the Hebrew word for the lands of Egypt, weeks ago, but in our calendar, we’re just two weeks away from retelling the...

The Kindness of Our Hearts

This year, National Random Acts of Kindness week leads up to one of my favorite Torah readings, Terumah. Teruma means “gift,” or “donation.” As the Israelites are traveling in the wilderness of Sinai, they’re...

The Rules We Live By

Divin In this week’s Torah reading, Mishpatim, the Torah enumerates many, many laws governing human behavior and actions. Amazingly, the very first ordinance has to do with the proper treatment of Hebrew slaves; they...

Good Advice?

I grew up listening to Allen Sherman’s records, and they’re as funny to me today as they were back in the 60s. One song, that I discovered as an adult, is called “Good Advice.”...

All We Need Is A Miracle?

Sam prays for years to win the lottery, and it never happens. As time goes on, his prayers to God become more fervent, until finally, a heavenly voice booms, “Sam, meet me halfway, buy...

Pharaoh’s Buyer’s Remorse

It’s really hard to be wrong, to have regrets, to be on the “losing” side of something. Making (and acknowledging) mistakes is also hard, if not harder. When I’m knitting, and realize there’s a...

Lighting Up The Darkness

Lighting Up The Darkness

Darkness and light are motifs that have been around since, well, the beginning. Coming as it does at the darkest time of the year in the northern hemisphere, Hanukkah–the Festival of Lights–acknowledges the very...

Vayera, Putting God On Hold

What happens when two things of equal importance are put before you? How do you decide which to focus on? Our Torah reading this week, Vayera, opens with just such a dilemma, “The LORD...