Vayeira: God Can Wait

Posted on October 22, 2021

Religious poetry, prayer, and scripture are filled with longing to behold God’s presence. Even Moses, who heard God’s voice at the burning bush,[1] pleads in vain for a vision of God’s face. “No human can see My face…”[2] says God in response. Elijah experienced God in a whirlwind, an earthquake, and a still small voice, Continue Reading »

Lech L’cha – The Voices that Call Us Home

Posted on October 15, 2021

When I was 19, I had a lech l’cha moment. I heard an inner voice telling me lech l’cha, go forth, go to the land of your ancestors, to the land of your people. Go to your roots. Go find a part of yourself you do not yet know. I was in the middle of Continue Reading »

The B’dorotav Syndrome

Posted on October 8, 2021

What are we to do if we find ourselves in a time or place of declining standards — moral, social, cultural, academic – name the field? Is it appropriate to adjust our expectations of ourselves and others in response to such changes? When others expect less of themselves, is it right for us to follow Continue Reading »

High Holy Day Food Drive a Success

Posted on October 6, 2021

TBE’s High Holy Day Food Drive of 5782 / 2021 collected 225 bags of food weighing 2141 pounds (over a ton!) for the Food Bank Network of Somerset County. TBE’s food donations will feed 40 to 60 families for about a week and a half. This single donation was the most the Food Bank received Continue Reading »

The Sublime Wisdom of God’s Creation

Posted on October 1, 2021

Rabbi Ben Bag Bag said of the Torah, “Turn it over and over, for all things are contained in it.”[1] The Torah is like a diamond. Examined from any angle, a different facet of its brilliance is revealed. It is ancient, and yet seemingly ever new. It is well known, yet unceasingly surprising. It is Continue Reading »

Message for the Shabbat of Sukkot: Be Joyful and Playful!

Posted on September 24, 2021

There is a Chasidic story about a beloved rebbe who passed away and was succeeded by his son. Though only a child, the new rebbe had already been recognized as a wondrous prodigy. People came from all over to ask him their most personal and difficult questions, and his answers did not disappoint them. He Continue Reading »

D’var Torah for Parashat Ha’Azinu

Posted on September 17, 2021

D’VAR TORAH PARSHA HA’AZINU Deuteronomy 32:1-52   The dog ate my homework. The ball hit a rock. The sun was in my eyes.   We all know what these are–they are excuses. Fictitious justifications for our failure to take responsibility for our actions. Responsibility is one of the themes of this week’s poetically powerful parsha, Ha’azinu, Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message for Ntizavim: Words to Strengthen and Inspire

Posted on September 3, 2021

“I am not a man of words…” “lo ish d’varim anochi…” (Exodus 4:10) That was how Moses first responded to God’s call to lead our people. Yet somehow that man who declared himself unqualified, as slow of speech and inept with words, overcame his fears, led the children of Israel to freedom, gave them the Torah, Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message for Ki Tavo: Ready, Aim, Live!

Posted on August 27, 2021

The Dubner Maggid told a parable that speaks poignantly to this moment in the cycle of the Jewish year: A champion marksman was passing through a tiny village when he saw a hundred circles drawn on the side of a barn – and in the center of each circle was a bullet hole. The man Continue Reading »

The Battle of the Human Heart: Don’t Be Indifferent

Posted on August 20, 2021

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Teizei contains more laws than any other parashah in the Torah — 72, to be exact. The purpose was not to provide a code that the average Israelite would carry around to consult at any given moment; rather, it was to cultivate a certain sensibility, awareness, and attitude. Nowhere is Continue Reading »