Rabbi’s Teachings

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Vaera

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Torah Talk:  Vaera – Learning to Be True to Our Jewish Souls This week’s Torah reading is part of the famous story of the Ten Plagues that is recited during the Passover Seder, and includes the first seven plagues  of Blood, Frogs (some commentators render the Hebrew word not as “frogs” but as “crocodiles”), Lice, […]

Shemot

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Torah Talk:  Shemot – Act With Kindness and Courage in All Times This week’s Torah portion, entitled “Shemot” (Meaning “Names” as it starts out with the names of the Hebrews who were in Egypt)  begins our journey into the Book of Exodus (also actually called “Shemot” in Hebrew).  The reading for this week begins with […]

Mikeitz

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Torah Talk: A Dream Uninterpreted is like a Letter left Unopened This week’s Torah portion of Mikeitz is special on so many levels, not the least of which is that it nearly always (98% of the time) is read during the holiday of Hannukah, and is one of the markers for calendar makers to check […]

Happy Hannukah!

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Torah Talk: Happy Hannukah! Happy Hannukah, Channuka, or any way that you would like to spell it!  As children we often think this is an important holiday for gift giving, then as adults decide that it’s not so important.  The reality is that this holiday is extremely important on multiple levels, and so I thought […]

Vayishlach

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Torah Talk: Vayishlach Get Small to Get Big! This week’s Torah portion of Vayishlach (Gen. 32:4-36:43) contains the famous scene in which our ancestor Jacob wrestles with an angel and has his name changed from “Jacob” to “Israel”.  While we repeatedly study the deep implications of that dream, I believe that we need to spend […]

The Jewish Holiday of Thanksgiving

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Torah Talk:  The Jewish Holiday of Thanksgiving Happy Thanksgiving! Although now considered a secular holiday, it was originally a religious celebration, and the concept of “thanks-giving” is an integral part of both Judeo-Christian teachings and this entire nation’s history.  It is a holiday that is simultaneously spiritual and historical in its roots for both our […]

Toldot

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Torah Talk: Teach Our Children Well As I am the father of twin sons, this week’s Torah portion of Toldot, where we learn of the birth of twins Jacob and Esau, has a special place in my soul. Esau sells his birthright, and Rivka helps her favored son, Jacob, “trick” Isaac into a blessing. The […]

Chayei Sarah

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Chayei Sarah Teach Us to Count Our Days  (Psalm 90:12) “Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven years; the years of Sarah’s life.  Sarah died” (Genesis 23:1) “Now these are the days of the years of the life of Abraham that he lived:  a hundred years, seventy years, and five years.  And […]

Should Jews Celebrate Halloween?

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Chevre As we all know, these are challenging times on many levels.  On the one hand, it is difficult for people to stay connected to any community because of covid-19; and yet these are the times that people need a community more than ever.  It presents an especially difficult challenge for spiritual communities:  how can […]

Why Are We Suffering and What Can We Do?

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Why Are We Suffering and What Can We Do? If a person sees that suffering befalls him, let him examine his deeds (Bavli Berachot 5a) Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding… Pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self (Kahlil Gibran, “The […]

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