Shemot 5780 – Three Themes in Search of a Connection

 I don’t usually fret much when writing a d’var. A portion of the reading stands out to me and I work with it, researching, reading and contemplating the topics. Parasha Shemot- while being a rather short Parasha, left me feeling alternately upset and disturbed and then later uplifted. This is not an easy reading to […]

Vayechi 5780 – Why Ephraim and Manasseh?

Many Jewish parents embrace a custom of blessing their children every Friday evening. This custom is a nice way of bringing gratitude and spirituality to your family. We have seen our son-in-law bless each of his children, our grandchildren, during Shabbat dinner and it a heartwarming moment. The words of the blessings are taken from […]

Vayigash 5780 – It’s Time to Leave the ANGER Behind…

With the beginning of the New Year, many of us have already started writing down and thinking about what, if any, resolutions we might want to make. Knowing that some of our resolutions have appeared on previous years’ lists, we know all too well how easily we can forget our best intentions when other things […]

Re’eh – 5780 – Do Our Best

Parashat Re’eh teaches us: If we obey God’s commandments, we shall be blessed; if we choose disobedience, we shall be cursed. Laws specify that our people must observe – be wary of false prophets, not consume the blood of animals that are slaughtered.  A lot of rules. But, being the eternal optimist that I am, […]

Vayashev 5780 – Judaism’s Lesson: Don’t Despair!

“A minyan of Comfort” is the name of a widely used prayer book in houses of mourning. It is an especially popular book in Conservative Jewish congregations. We gather to comfort those who mourn. And they, in turn, accept our comfort.

But in today’s parashah, we read, “And Jacob refused to be comforted.” He had been […]

Parsha Vayishlach 5780

Vayishlach… And he sent…     Jacob sent malachim- Angels/Messengers onto his brother Esau, and when they returned to him, they related that Esau had 400 men and flocks and more.  Jacob was to meet his brother Esau the next day and it had been 20 years since they had last seen each other after Jacob traded […]

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 […]