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 […]

Ki Teitse 5782 – Against Hate

(Adapted from a teaching by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.)

Ki Teitse contains more laws – 72 – than any other parsha in the Torah, One verse, however, stands out because it is so counter-intuitive:

“Do not despise an Edomite, because he is your brother. Do not despise the Egyptian, because you were a stranger in his land.” (Deut. […]

Shoftim 5782 – Revisiting My Own Theology

Our friends, Dick and his wife are classical secular Jews. They do not attend synagogue regularly and do not follow the traditional rituals that so many of us do. As an example, his wife told Nancy about a particular restaurant with delicious pork chops. Well, Dick told me over dinner last week that he tries […]

Vaetchanan 5782 – The Transition to Moshe Rabbeinu

If we had to choose only one Torah portion to summarize the entire Torah, which would it be? We could make arguments in favor of the various portions, but we would have to consider Parashah Vaetchanan as a strong contender. In this week’s parashah, we find a compilation of the Torah’s “greatest hits,” both in […]

Pinchas 5782 – Newsflash: The Changing of G-d’s ‘Mind’

A few weeks ago, Nancy and I were in Israel. A truly fabulous trip! One day, our group went to the Kotel – the Western Wall of the old temple. As you may recall, several years ago, there was a big brouhaha. Women, it seemed, were demanding to be able to pray there. Imagine such […]

Chukat 5782 – What About Miriam

Parsha Chukat is about mortality. After describing the confusing purification rite of the Red Heifer, we skip ahead 38 years. We are hit with three successive tragedies: Miriam dies, Moses is given a death sentence and is banned from the Promised Land and Aaron dies. We are told virtually nothing regarding the death of Miriam. […]