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Friday Shabbat Shalom

Passover to Shavuot, The Spring "High Holy Days"

May 14, 2021

Passover to Shavuot, The Spring "High Holy Days"

One reason is the sheer number of holidays that parallels the Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemeni Atzeret/Simchat Torah ‘deluge’ of September / October. We have Pesach, Yom HaShoah, Yom HaAtzma’ut, Lag BaOmer and Shavuot all in a seven-week period.
Chosen To Be Choosers

May 7, 2021

Chosen To Be Choosers

“If you follow My laws and faithfully observe my commandments... I will look with favor upon you, and make you fertile and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. I will establish My abode in your midst, and I will not spurn you. I will be ever present in your midst I will be your God and you shall be My people.” (Parashat Bechukkotai, Leviticus Chapter 26)
The Texture of Time

Apr 30, 2021

The Texture of Time

Several summers ago, my husband and I took our children to see the movie “Inside Out.” I remember sitting through the animated film next to our children, and as the movie ended, the credits ran, and the lights began to come up in the theater, David and I both sat there, frozen in our seats, tears streaming down our cheeks. Our children stared at us in confusion. Why in the world were we crying?
Sarah Halimi and George Floyd: After Their Deaths…

Apr 23, 2021

Sarah Halimi and George Floyd: After Their Deaths…

One of the things that American Jews, especially Jews born after World War II, take for granted is that Jewish life is not cheap here. Jews in America are considered equal citizens with the right to protection by the government and when Jews are harmed, our government will respond and protect us as it should for any other American.
WHY I LOVE ISRAEL - AND WHY YOU SHOULD, TOO

Apr 16, 2021

WHY I LOVE ISRAEL - AND WHY YOU SHOULD, TOO

I first fell in love with Jewish books at Camp Eisner, the Reform Jewish camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Almost fifty summers ago, as a young teenager, I was assigned the duty of cleaning out the camp library. I did a terrible job. The truth is cleaning has never been my strong suit. Reading is.
Sometimes A Mitzvah Really Calls To You

Apr 9, 2021

Sometimes A Mitzvah Really Calls To You

This week's Parashat Shemini contains a long exposition of the laws of kashrut, a practice I didn't grow up with. Though my father z”l loved tradition in general, he was the first one in his family to have a non-kosher home, saying: "" We're American! What is this craziness? We should eat like Americans!
THE BREAD OF FREEDOM

Apr 2, 2021

THE BREAD OF FREEDOM

Matzah is the hard bread that Israelites initially ate in the desert because they plunged into liberty without delaying, “since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay; nor had they prepared provisions for themselves” (Exodus 12:39). However, matzah carries a more complex message than “Freedom now!”
Imagining Liberation

Mar 26, 2021

Imagining Liberation

The obligation is not only to recall the Exodus but to relive it. On the one hand, rituals of remembrance on festivals are commonplace: We light a menorah on Hanukkah to remember the miracle of the oil. We circle the bimah on Sukkot with the four species to remember a ritual performed on Sukkot in the Temple. On the 9th of Av, we read the Book of Lamentations to remember the destruction of the Temple.
Why Is It Important to Tell Stories?

Mar 19, 2021

Why Is It Important to Tell Stories?

This week's Torah portion, Ki Tisa, begins with Moshe/Moses atop Mount Sinai, communing with God. The last thing God says to Moshe is a set of verses we now know as V'shamru [Exodus 31:16-17], commanding us to keep Shabbat throughout the ages as a sign of covenant with God.Then God gives Moshe the two tablets, inscribed by God's own hand.
Having It All

Mar 12, 2021

Having It All

This week's Torah portion, Ki Tisa, begins with Moshe/Moses atop Mount Sinai, communing with God. The last thing God says to Moshe is a set of verses we now know as V'shamru [Exodus 31:16-17], commanding us to keep Shabbat throughout the ages as a sign of covenant with God.Then God gives Moshe the two tablets, inscribed by God's own hand.