Jewish Journal Articles

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Rabbi Barclay’s Jewish Journal Article on Faith vs. Fear

Torah portion: Darkness will become light Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1-3:22 by Rabbi Michael Barclay   “Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in the darkness, He would not have been a light for me.” — Midrash Tehillim This week’s portion is the beginning of the Book of Deuteronomy, which is read […]

Yom Kippur a coming home for the Jewish soul Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

It happens every year. People come to services for Rosh Hashanah and remember how meaningful Judaism can be in their lives. They fast and pray fervently on Yom Kippur and come up to the rabbi to talk about their great revelation: They are Jews and are going to start coming to services, classes and programming. They […]

Building a Community on Individual Efforts

CLICK HERE to read the article at “Do not regard anyone with contempt, and do not reject anything, for there is no man who does not have his hour and nothing which does not have its place.” — Ben Azzai, Pirkei Avot 4:3 The two Torah portions of Vayakhel and Pekudei comprise the closing […]

Torah portion: Wake up!


CLICK HERE to read the article at Guard and listen to all these words that I command you, in order that it be well with you and your children after you forever (Deuteronomy 12:28). This week’s portion, Re’eh, contains a break in Moses’ speeches about Jewish history and destiny. Here he reminds our people […]

The Big Choice


CLICK HERE to read the article at I’ve always held the belief that if three or more diverse cultures have the same teaching, that teaching may be worthwhile and worth exploring. Nearly every tradition in the world teaches that all personal choices are, at their deepest level, based on choosing between faith and fear; […]

Torah portion: Becoming a distinguished people


CLICK HERE to read the article at “You shall be holy, for I am holy” — Leviticus 11:45 I always find that Parashat Shemini inspires young people to ask questions. “Why did Aaron’s sons have to die?” “Why can’t I have a drink and get a little tipsy if it will help me enjoy […]

Chanukah: Filling our lives with an ancient light


CLICK HERE to read the article at When we are children, Chanukah often seems the most important holiday — after all, we get gifts and chocolate coins. As adults, we learn that Chanukah commemorates a military victory as well as the miracle of the everlasting oil, and that it signifies our commitment to filling […]

Each day is a choice: Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)


CLICK HERE to read the article at Only a couple of weeks ago, we were all feeling the holiness of Yom Kippur. By the end of the day of fasting, beautiful music, insightful teachings and prayers that deepened our self-awareness, we were remembering the real priorities in life. We had committed — to ourselves […]

“Because I say so”: Parashat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)


CLICK HERE to read the article at “This is the decree [chukat] of the Torah” (Numbers 19:2). Isn’t it amazing how, as we get older, our parents seem to become wise? It is the responsibility of any good parent to guide their child. But when the child asks for a reason whythey should or […]