Vayeitzei 5783

Vayeitzei, “and he went out.”  In this Parsha, Jacob went out from Be’er Sheva to Charan.  But did he only go out geographically or on another level?  Did Jacob in his search for a wife, also go in search of a life?  Why was it necessary?  For his personal and spiritual evolution did he need […]

Chaye Sarah 5783

What a strange title for this week’s Parsha. Chaye Sarah means “Life of Sarah”. Doesn’t the Parsha deal, among other things with the death of Sarah? And isn’t the most time spent finding a wife for Isaac?Perhaps the Parsha should be titled “Mas Sarah”, Death of Sarah, or “Isaac Gets a Wife”?

Sarah dies at the […]

Vayera 5783 – Abraham’s Chutzpah – the Foundation of Judaism

Well, things hadn’t been going so well. Adam and Eve screwed up their cushy surroundings in the Garden, Cain displayed his anger management problems in the most violent of ways. The Tower of Babel demonstrated the hubris that humans could have. Build a tower to the heavens? Why not? Gd created order, but humans created […]

Bereshit 5783 – Reconciling Shame

One of the many stories in Bereshit is that of Adam and Eve. In particular it is the shame that Adam and Eve experience upon eating the forbidden fruit. Rabbi Manis Friedman, co-author of “Living a Life that Matters” relates Adam and Eve’s emotional response to these three aspects of shame: 1) humility, embarrassment and […]

Ha’zinu 5783 – Past and Future

Today’s Torah portion is Ha’azinu, the 2nd to last portion, getting near the end of the Torah. The sidra begins with the song/poem that Moses introduced at the end of the last Parashah, Vayelech. Through a variety of metaphors, G-d’s faithfulness to the Israelites in the past and into the future is extolled. This contrasts […]

Yom Kippur 5783 – May Their Memory be a Blessing

With the high death rate attributed to Covid over the past couple of years, the war in Ukraine, and the passing of Queen Elizabeth last month, we have been inundated with death. Many within our community lost loved ones during this time, and the world has faced astronomical levels of death.  1.06 million people have […]

Shabbat Shuvah 5783 – The Sacred Power of the Days of Awe

Each day during morning minyan in the month of Elul, we hear the blast of the shofar. On Rosh Hashanah as we hear the shofar, we read in our  prayer book that the still, small voice is speaking to us. And we hear it if we  listen. The hazzan’s voice stays with me for a […]

Rosh Hashannah Day 2 – Why Do We Blow the Sofar

In preparation for the High Holidays, we blow the Shofar each morning throughout the final month of the Jewish year. Every morning, the Shofar reminds us of the holiness of Rosh Hashanah, marking the start of the New Year that lies ahead.

But why do Jews all around the world blow the shofar? What is so […]

Rosh Hashannah Day 1 – Does G-d Hear the Prayers of a Deaf Mute

As we all spend this time together striving to get written and sealed into the Book of Life for a good year, let’s take a few moments to evaluate our acts over the prior year. Can we do better this year?  Did we follow the three-prong test to success? Repentance, prayer and acts of righteousness […]

Nitzavim 5782 – All for One and One for All

This week’s torah portion begins: “Atem nitzavim hayom kulchem” which means: “You stand this day, all of you.” Moses is speaking to the Israelite community one last time before they enter the Promised Land and before he dies.

Moses prepares the Israelites to enter the covenant with God. He tells them that God’s covenant belongs to […]