Matot-Massei – 5781 – Vows & Oaths

In today’s Parasha Moses describes the commandments of oaths and vows in ongoing oral law; the Israelites battle the Midianites; the tribes of Reuben and Gad negotiate with Moses to allow their people to dwell outside of the Land of Israel for the sake of their livestock and their families. In fact, Moses tells the […]

Pinchas 5781 – On Losing Some of Your Water

There is a book by P.J. Long, a mom who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she fell off a horse. In her book, Gifts from a Broken Jar, she recounts this story from India about a village boy who brought water to a wealthy man.

Every day, the boy walked several miles from the village to […]

Balak 5781 – And You Thought Mister Ed Was Something Special

Parshat Balak, to say the least, is a very unusual and interesting Parsha. To summarize briefly, The B’nai Yisroel were having a field day destroying all of their enemies. Balak, king of Moab, feared that he was next. He could have made friends with the Jewish nation by simply offering them food and water during […]

Korach 5781 – Korach Gets Shut Down

Today’s Torah portion tells the story of Korah the cousin of Moses and Aaron who questions the ‘spirtual leadership’ of the Israelites. Moses defends the divine appointment of Aaron as Kohen Gadol  and clarifies the wearing of Tallit.

Korah has been called the ‘rebel of the Torah’. Did you know that according to historical accounts ‘of […]

Shelach 5781 – Fear of the Unknown

What an amazing opportunity. I had previously given a D’var to the Kehilla on Parshat Shelach where, among other things, I explored the sin of the ten spies who warned against entering Israel. I noted that they not only had sinned, but that the punishments handed out were Midah K’neged Midah (measure for measure). In […]

Naso 5781 – Priestly Blessing: We Need a New Translation

In today’s parashah, we find the ancient and very famous Priestly Blessing. For those of you who would like to refer to it during my D’var, it is Ch 6, v. 23-25 on Pg 804 in Etz Chaim.Truthfully, after all these years, I think its translation needs to be . . . freshened up a […]

Bamidbar 5781 – How Much Does Hashem Care About His People

This week’s Parashah reveals Hashem’s indescribable love for His people.

The prophet Hoshea opens with warm words of blessing and says, “The Jewish people will be likened to the sand of the sea that cannot be measured or counted.” Hoshea digresses then and says, “And in place of not being recognized as My nation, they will be regarded […]

Bechuchotai 5781 – My Bar Mitzvah Parashah – We Are All Letters in the Scroll

Janusz Korczak was the pen name for Henryk Goldschmidt. He was an author of children’s books in Poland before WWII. He eventually ran an orphanage in Warsaw. He, the social workers and all the children were gathered by the Naziis and sent into the Warsaw Ghetto during the war.  He was given the opportunity to […]

Emor 5781 – Are we Blimished

It is wonderful that our Kehillah has taken the step toward Shabbat morning normalcy by returning to an in-person minyan. Today marks the sixth service in a row we have had an in-person minyan. Thank-you to the core group, Becca, Joel, Mike, Rachelle, Bill, Barry, and Daniel, who continued to show up each week to […]

Metzorah 5781 – Guard Your Tongue from Evil

Everyone is born with a powerful weapon which can be used both for good and evil. This weapon is your tongue. Your tongue is used to create thousands of words every day, and each word has the power to harm or to heal, to hurt or to help. In this week’s Torah portion, we learn […]