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Friday Shabbat Shalom

All Men Are Actually Not Created Equal…

Aug 14, 2020

All Men Are Actually Not Created Equal…

When Gene Greenzweig (z”l), and so many others here in Miami and around the world, developed the Miami March of the Living, they did so because they believed, as I do, in the power of education to transform people and their paths in life.
Man Does Not Live on Bread Alone

Aug 7, 2020

Man Does Not Live on Bread Alone

Yup, you read it correctly—I used the term “man.” It’s the way the JPS Tanakh (Bible) translates Deuteronomy 8:3 from this week’s Parashat Eikev, and it is of course the way we all know the phrase from the King James Bible translation. Why? I don’t touch iconic—especially if I want to get your attention!
One Soul, Many Hearts

Jul 31, 2020

One Soul, Many Hearts

One of the challenges translators of Scripture must deal with are subtle grammatical shifts and oddities within the Hebrew text of the Pentateuch. These subtleties challenge prevailing conceptions and conventions in other languages, and within the Hebrew language itself. They complicate the translator’s mandate to simplify and clarify, while remaining faithful to the text.
 Torah is the Foundation We Stand Upon

Jul 24, 2020

Torah is the Foundation We Stand Upon

This Shabbat we begin the last of the Five Books, the Book of Deuteronomy or Devarim ("words" in Hebrew). The Book is primarily a review ( Deuter – Greek for “repetition”) of the previous 4 books, with Moses exhorting the Israelites to remember what was set down over the previous 40 years.
Life is a Sacred Journey

Jul 17, 2020

Life is a Sacred Journey

This Shabbat we finish the reading of the fourth book of the Torah, Numbers/ Sefer Bemidbar , and with the end of the book, ends the story of the Exodus, the travelling through the wilderness, and the complaints of the Israelites (though, in fact those never quite end).
Change Is Always Possible

Jul 10, 2020

Change Is Always Possible

There is one verse in this week’s Torah portion that is profound in meaning and it has only four words . In fact, it is so short that many readers or listeners just miss it. It’s one of those verses that a few minutes or hours later you suddenly say – “What did the Torah say there?"
Lessons from the Unexpected

Jul 3, 2020

Lessons from the Unexpected

This week’s combined Torah portion, Chukat-Balak , includes the story of the non-Jewish prophet Balaam (called Bilam in Hebrew) and his talking donkey . The portion of Balak opens with the king of Moav, (Balak), having heard what happened with the nations who fought against Israel.
Korach Still Lives On!

Jun 26, 2020

Korach Still Lives On!

Rabbis, including this rabbi, welcome the opportunity to write a Dvar Torah in which one of the most “beloved” of Biblical villains appears in his own eponymous Torah portion-- Korach. Born a Levite with great yichus (his great-grandfather was Levi, founder of the Tribe of Levi), along with wealth, intellect, ability and skill, Korach was greatly admired and looked up to by many Israelites.
Are You Transmitting Fear or Courage?

Jun 19, 2020

Are You Transmitting Fear or Courage?

As Jewish parents, grandparents, and teachers, we need to find ways to transmit the values of the Jewish tradition to each generation. In Parashat Shelach, Moses sends leaders to scout the land of Canaan in order to find a way to enter it and leave the desert behind them. These leaders return and tell Moses that while the land is flowing with milk and honey, it is inhabited by giants. Their fears overcame their better judgment and they exaggerated what they saw in order to instill fear in others.
Paradise Lost: Reflections on BeMidbar/The Book of Numbers and America circa 2020

Jun 11, 2020

Paradise Lost: Reflections on BeMidbar/The Book of Numbers and America circa 2020

Recent events have unleashed sad, self-evident and undeniable truths; far from “one union under God”, we act more like a loosely stitched patchwork of power structures and competing interest. Fear of the other and racial hatred, the unequal distribution of justice, and rampant violence have planted deep seeds of mistrust.