During the Jewish High Holy Days, between Rosh Hashanah (today) and Yom Kippur (in 10 days), we are called to reflect, reconfigure our priorities and recommit to what matters. There is a tradition (tashlich) of going to a body of water and casting away our sins... but the word sin in English means something very … Continue reading Tashlich: Letting go of last year
On this eve of the Jewish New Year, as day turns to night, and the new moon barely begins to glow, I pray that our poor planet is granted a year of healing, blessing and peace. May each and everyone of us be blessed and use this year that we are given to be a … Continue reading Shanah Tovah! May 5782 bring only healing, blessing and peace to all!
Maah Gadlu Ma'asecha Yah... How amazing are Your Creative Works O Source of Creation... My view of the sunrise from my window yesterday morning after taking the dogs out... it was even more spectacular a few minutes earlier when I was outside but I didn't have my phone at that point and I have learned … Continue reading Torah Lessons from the Sun
I write this article with the words of Hatikvah (our Israeli national anthem) upon my lips... a mantra of hope and a prayer for peace. Golda Meir once said: "If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no … Continue reading Hatikvah: Searching for Hope
The Hebrew Bible commands us to observe the festival of Sukkot (booths) and to reexperience the long and difficult journey toward freedom that the Children of Israel undertook, as they escaped slavery wandering in the desert and wilderness for forty years before entering the promised land. We are commanded to feel joy, and to learn … Continue reading A contemporary Sukkot Meditation
Last night, the Jewish community began Shabbat (Sabbath) by also celebrating the beginning of the week-long festival of Sukkot, which is commanded in the book of Leviticus 23:42-43- “You shall live in booths seven days; all citizens in Israel shall live in booths, in order that future generations may know that I made the Israelite … Continue reading Sukkot 2020
I have lived in Louisville, Kentucky... for over ten years... working on countless projects with the mayor's office and the Louisville Metro Police Department and even the FBI, to try to bring healing, justice and peace to this city. It is therefore with profound sadness, horror, rage and disgust that I watch what is unfolding … Continue reading A response to Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron
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Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23; Ezekiel 44:15-31) which starts with the following words: “The Lord spoke to Moses: Speak to the Children of Aaron, and say to them…” Later rabbinic commentary (in the Talmud) quotes this verse, but instead of saying “emor … Continue reading Emor
This Shabbat, Jews around the world will observe the Shabbat HaGadol (the Great Sabbath) that precedes Passover, by reflecting upon the themes in the Torah Portion Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36; Jeremiah 7:21-28; 9:22-23) which describes how Aaron and his sons had to spend seven days inside the Sanctuary, in order to be initiated into the priesthood. … Continue reading Tzav
Tonight, as we begin Shabbat (the Sabbath), Jewish communities around the world will reflect upon the themes of Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26; Isaiah 43:21-44:23) which begins with the Holy One calling out to Moses and instructing him to enter the newly built Sanctuary. This biblical section is immediately preceded by last week's biblical passage from the … Continue reading Vayikra
Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9; Isaiah 51:12-52:12) which contains the following exhortations: “There shall not be found among you… a soothsayer, a diviner of times, one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or a charmer... You shall be whole-hearted with your Lord” … Continue reading Shoftim
Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat by reflecting upon the themes of Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11; Isaiah 40:1-26) which contains the central affirmation of faith of the Jewish people, known as the “Shma”: “Shma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad”, and which means, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our G!d*, the Lord is One”, which … Continue reading Va’etchanan
Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) by reflecting upon the themes in Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25; Isaiah 49:14-51:3) which contains the final words of wisdom from Moses to the Children of Israel, including: “Perhaps you will say in your heart: these nations are greater than I (…) do not fear them, but remember … Continue reading Eikev
Tonight, the Jewish community will begin Shabbat (the Sabbath) and Rosh Chodesh (the new Hebrew month of Elul) by reflecting upon the themes of Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17; Isaiah 66:1-24) which begins with the words: “See (re’eh), I am giving before you all today blessing and curse”. Traditional rabbinic commentary understands that the word “re’eh” to … Continue reading Re’eh