Shabbat is almost here! Join the Reform Jewish Community of Atlantic Canada for its first virtual Shabbat service this Friday night, May 13th!!! The week might feel stressful but it will not last forever! No matter what Monday throws at us... Friday night will return... Remembering that everything is finite is an important strategy to … Continue reading Can’t wait for Shabbat!
Not able to gather in person? Not sure what to do? Whether you are new to Judaism, or feel like you've seen it all- everyone is welcome!!! Bring ancient tradition to life and make new friends! Join me as I lead the Reform Jews of Atlantic Canada in our first ever virtual Passover Seder! Please … Continue reading First Night of Passover: Join us for a Virtual Seder
Many of you may know that I recently relocated to Nova Scotia, Canada, where I have the opportunity to support amazing social workers from across the province, overseeing their professional development, standards and advocacy, as well as beginning my own private counseling practice. I love what I am doing, and I love this beautiful province … Continue reading My new chapter: Reform Judaism in Atlantic Canada
In the book of Genesis, G!d said to Abraham: "Lech Lecha" which means go forth to yourself... embrace who I created you to be... Become your destiny. The rabbis further teach that each human being was created with a special purpose... represented by a letter that represents our essence. Our life is a journey through … Continue reading Embracing Who We Were Created to Be: Queering is Redeeming
I was deeply honored to speak on Ash Wednesday at Queer Spirit Church in Halifax, which feels like the ultimate act of queering: a rabbi speaking in a Baptist church, that hosts an emerging queer community of faith, on Ash Wednesday. I reflect upon these apparent contradictions, as part of my larger life's mission to … Continue reading My Sermon: Queering is Redeeming
Many years ago my daughter spoke a truth so powerful that I believe it has the potential to dismantle the oppressive chains of those who claim to be religious yet espouse a theology of hatred: "If G!d is Love, and two people love each other, and others say that they don't believe in the love … Continue reading Who are the true believers?
When I was invited to speak at Queer Spirit Church, I was profoundly moved by the opportunity to share with a Christian faith community insights from my faith tradition. As a second generation Holocaust survivor, I feel like I am honoring my ancestors who died so that I could live. This is at the core … Continue reading Queering is Redeeming
Many years (decades lol) ago, I was blessed to learn of a Sufi teaching that all of the world's religions are like different colored beads with the same string of truth running through them... As life evolved, I began to create my own renditions of this same teachings... perhaps all of the world's great Wisdom … Continue reading A rabbi’s reflections between Mardi Gras and Lent
This world teaches us blindness... may 2022 be the year we come to see the sacred in everyone... this story reflects the ancient but not yet understood teaching from Genesis 28: And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: ‘Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.’ We can … Continue reading Learning to see
In March 2020, I learned a new way to be a rabbi- through Zoom... Ironically, my new year's resolution for 2020 was to increase my technology skills, and indeed, I created this website as part of my working on this new year's resolution... I found someone to tutor me and teach me... and luckily, by … Continue reading Shabbat Shalom and Shanah Tovah: Saying goodbye to 2021 and welcoming in 2022
This past Shabbat (Sabbath), many in the Jewish community are reflecting upon the rabbinic teachings connected to the weekly biblical reading of “Chayei Sarah” (Genesis 23:1-25:18 ; Kings I 1:1-31). The following is a reflection rooted in these. For more about the sources, please go to http://www.chabad.org. This biblical passage is traditionally entitled “Chayei Sarah” … Continue reading Chayei Sarah
This Shabbat (Sabbath), many in the Jewish community are reflecting upon the rabbinic teachings connected to the weekly biblical reading of “Vayeira” (Genesis 18:1-22:24; Kings II 1:1-22:24). The following is a reflection rooted in these. For more about the sources, please go to http://www.chabad.org. The biblical text describes G!d “appearing” to Abraham at the opening … Continue reading Vayeira (Genesis 18:1-22:24)
This Shabbat (Sabbath), many in the Jewish community are reflecting upon the rabbinic teachings connected to the weekly biblical reading of “Lech Lecha” (Genesis 12:1-17:27 ; Isaiah 40:21-41:16). The following is a reflection rooted in these. For more about the sources, please go to http://www.chabad.org. Out of nowhere comes “The Call” to Abram to go … Continue reading Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)
This Shabbat (Sabbath), many in the Jewish community are reflecting upon the rabbinic teachings connected to the weekly biblical reading of “Noach” (Genesis 6:9-11:32; Isaiah 54:1-10). The following is a reflection rooted in these. For more about the sources, please go to http://www.chabad.org. The first verse of this biblical passage contains this enigmatic Hebrew phrase: … Continue reading Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32; Isaiah 54:1-10)
This Shabbat (Sabbath), many in the Jewish community are reflecting upon the rabbinic teachings connected to the weekly biblical reading of “B’reishit” (Genesis 1:1-6:8; Isaiah 42:5-21). The following is a reflection rooted in these. For more about the sources, please go to http://www.chabad.org. The first word of the Torah is “B’reishit” which is translated as … Continue reading B’reishit: Genesis 1:1-6:8
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