“Peh El Peh”

One of the many beautiful aspects of the Torah is its ability to pull no punches, so to speak. The Torah can tell it like it is, and we see a wide range of emotions and circumstances on display in this week’s parshah, B’haalot’cha. “And it came to pass in the second year, in theContinue reading ““Peh El Peh””

A Breath of Shalom

Naso, the Torah portion for this week, comes at an extremely tumultuous and trying time in our country’s history. As we know, we are currently studying Bamidbar, or the Book of Numbers, in our yearly cycle of readings. As of right now, 100,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19, with the numbersContinue reading “A Breath of Shalom”

“Wherever you go, I will go”

As we celebrate the pilgrimage festival of Shavuot this week, one of our traditions is to engage in the reading of The Book of Ruth. While a connection to Shavuot is not necessarily explicit in the text, our tradition gives many explanations as to why we read this particular book on Shavuot. The story isContinue reading ““Wherever you go, I will go””

Strength in “Numbers”

Every year on the Shabbat preceding Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, we read parshah Bamidbar. “Bamidbar,” Hebrew for “in the wilderness,” is commonly known to the English-speaking world as The Book of Numbers. The first parshah shares the name of the Book. As we have touched upon before, weContinue reading “Strength in “Numbers””

Are We Listening?

God warns us of the consequences of not listening: “I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall make the eyes to fail, and the soul to languish…” (Lev. 26:16). This seems harsh, but there are some issues that we desperately need to tackle as human beings and Jews. The Jew hasContinue reading “Are We Listening?”

Souls, Not Data

“Our thoughts turn to those who have departed this earth: our own loved ones, those whom our friends and neighbors have lost, the martyrs of our people whose graves are unmarked, and those of every race and nation whose lives have been a blessing to humanity. As we remember them, we meditate on the meaningContinue reading “Souls, Not Data”

Save a Corner

This week’s parshah, Kedoshim, is possibly one of the most significant in the Torah. Not only does this parshah signify the middle section of the Book of Leviticus, but it is also considered by some to be the “heart” of the entire Torah, Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses. In this parshah, we are remindedContinue reading “Save a Corner”

A “Clean” Soul

This week, we delve into two parahshot that are mostly famous for their dealings with the condition known as “leprosy.” The Torah describes a very specific protocol for how to identify, treat, quarantine, and eventually purify someone who has been afflicted with “tzaraat.” Leviticus chapter 13, verse 2 says, “When a man shall have inContinue reading “A “Clean” Soul”

For Yom HaShoah

As we observe Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day on a yearly basis, we are told the stories of death and the stories of survivial in the midst of the most tangible evil imaginable. The 6 million Jews who were murdered, and also the millions of others killed, can never be forgotten, lest we allowContinue reading “For Yom HaShoah”

Please Take Off Your Shoes

I think it is safe to say that we are all currently worried, if not preoccupied, about germs, viruses and bacteria. We live amidst constant reminders that the world is not safe, and that we are in danger. There is a new hand-written sign outside of my house directly adjacent to our mezuzah that says,Continue reading “Please Take Off Your Shoes”