Open Schools? Tisha B’av Says “No!”

This week, and possibly when you are reading this, many Jewish people around the world are mourning and fasting on what is the most sorrowful day on the Jewish calendar. We have arrived at the 9th of Av, or Tisha B’Av. So many tragic and devastating events are reported to have happened in history onContinue reading “Open Schools? Tisha B’av Says “No!””

Talmudic Realities Underline My Points

While reading some Talmudic and Aggadic writings, I came across a section from Pirkei Avot that I simply could not ignore. Now, for those not familiar, Pirkei Avot, (meaning “Ethics of our Fathers”) is a section of the Mishnah, which is the first text of the oral Jewish law. The writings of Pirkei Avot areContinue reading “Talmudic Realities Underline My Points”

Flowing With Milk and Honey

When G-d speaks to Moses in Exodus 3:8, He says, “…and I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” G-d talks of the Promised LandContinue reading “Flowing With Milk and Honey”

The Show Must go on: The End of a Beautiful Life

It is very likely that these words you are about to consume have been largely influenced by my current choice of reading material. My Grandfather’s Blessings by Rachel Naomi Remen M.D. is a work full of spirit and hope. Dr. Remen spends much of the book talking about how much she has learned not onlyContinue reading “The Show Must go on: The End of a Beautiful Life”

Tohu Vavohu

“Bereshit barah Elohim et haShamayim v’et ha’aretz—In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).  Most of us are very familiar with the above words, as they are the first 7 of the 79,847 words that make up the Torah. This is also the first verse of the 5,845 verses that resultContinue reading “Tohu Vavohu”

“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?”