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Toldot 5780 – Loving Wisely and Our Legacy

Parasha Toldot is a story of unwise parental love and the tragedy. At the beginning of the story, Isaac and Rebekah spend many lonely years praying for a child, and then comes the twins – Esau and Jacob. Rebecca found that pregnancy was much harder than she had anticipated. She was in a great deal […]

Chayei Sara 5780 – Go Forward

How long do we or should we grieve and follow the process of bereavement for the loss of a loved one?

While I am not an expert on the topic of grieving nor follower/student of Dr. Joel Roffman or David Kessler (grief experts), I turned to what all of us Kehilah scholars may do to find […]

Vayera 5780 – Make Space for Yourself

In 5779, Joel delivered the dvar for Lech Lecha and I delivered the dvar the following week for Vayera. And here we are, in 5780 following the same pattern.

Are we in a rut? Following on the heels of Lech Lecha and Joel talking about “Go. Become.” I have to wonder if that is exactly what […]

Lech Lecha 5780 – Go.Become. The Essence of Judaism

Lech Lecha – what does it mean? it could simply mean, “Go forth,” but look, this is Jewish scripture. It has been parsed for centuries. For rabbis, the more cryptic, the better. And also, the words are followed by such evocative phrases like, “to a land that I will show you,” and, “I will bless […]

Noah 5780 – Did Noah Have PTSD?

In this week’s parashah we read the story of Noah. The parashah begins with the following statement: “Noah was a righteous man; he was blameless in his age.”  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks notes that Noah is the only individual in Tanakh described as righteous. No such praise is given to Abraham or Moses or any of […]

Shabbat Succot 5780 – Joy and the Torah

My grandfather (may he rest in peace) was named Simcha Natan in Hebrew. Simcha, meaning joy is the word I most associate with this time of year.  Each day of Sukkot in a traditional synagogue, you will see the hakafot, where the congregants dance around the building with the lulav and etrog in hand; seven […]

Haazinu 5780 – He Sang The Song That Made The Young Girls Cry

Haazinu Hashamayim Va’adaberah: “Incline your ear, O Heaven, and I will speak.”  This begins the song  that Moshe is instructed by G-d to prepare for the children of Israel. Why Haazinu rather than Shema?  The word haazin connotes a greater readiness to perceive and accept that which is being spoken than  does the word shema […]

Yom Kippur 5780 – Who Begot You

This is my paternal lineage

The descendants of Natan ha Kohen.

Yosef ben Natan ha Kohen – Born 1864 Russia begot

Nachum ben Yosef ha Kohen – Born 1890 in Birmingham – begot

Moshe ben Nachum ha Kohen begot

Aharon Shalom ben Moshe ha Kohen – Born 1960 (that’s me)

The maternal side of my family is only traceable to my […]

Rosh Hashanah Day 2 5780 – A New Application of Zachor – Remember

Last month, I saw a patient in the office named Mike. Mike is a fully alert and competent 77-year-old man who has been through lots of heart and circulatory issues. He had a major heart attack in 1990, 29 years ago, when he was 48. It left his heart quite damaged. He had 4-vessel coronary […]

Rosh Hashanah Day 1 5780 – It Seems Like Only Yesterday

It seems like only yesterday. However, seventy-five, eighty years have passed since the Holocaust.  My  heart bleeds when I think about the loss of my ancestors. My soul cries out in pain for them and the millions who were slaughtered.  What was their sin to lead to such a terrible end?  Being Jewish? They were flesh and blood […]