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”

Something to Nosh on

Rabbi Avdimi of Haifa is said to have taught that: “Before a man eats and drinks, he [being distraught] has two hearts. After he eats and drinks, he has but one heart” (Baba Batra 12b). It is no secret that historically, the Jewish people have a strong relationship with food. Yes, many traditions have aContinue reading “Something to Nosh on”

Erev Pesach

As we approach Erev Pesach on 14 Nisan, we seemingly find ourselves in a situation that is frightening, isolative, and odd. We either read the news, or experience directly (or both), the horrors of a plague that have shaken the world. Some might find it strange to be talking about freedom from enslavement in EgyptContinue reading “Erev Pesach”

Laying in the Field

In a Talmudic parable, the sages tell us of a time that the great Rabbi Akiva was traveling along the road and approached a town where he decided that he would seek lodging for the night. Not a place or person in the town would give Rabbi Akiva a place to rest his head forContinue reading “Laying in the Field”