We Must Be the Ark

Posted on October 20, 2023

The deluge is coming. As in the days of Noah, there will be a flood whose purpose is to eradicate evil. Israel has no choice. Before October 7 — Simchat Torah 5784 — one could speculate about the atrocities that Hamas would commit if given the chance. Now we know with a certainty that they Continue Reading »

A Painful Week for Israel and the Jewish People

Posted on October 13, 2023

As the sun sets and Shabbat arrives, we will conclude the most painful and terrifying week that Israel and the Jewish people have experienced since the founding of the state. Thank God, the immediate threat to Israeli lives has been largely neutralized, and we pray that it stays that way. But there is great uncertainty Continue Reading »

The View from the Sukkah

Posted on September 29, 2023

In his book, Why Religion Matters, Huston Smith, uses a powerful image to describe the importance of religion in human life. “Imagine yourself in a bungalow in North India,” writes Smith. “You are standing before a picture window that commands a breathtaking view of the Himalayan Mountains. What modernity has done, in effect, is to Continue Reading »

Etched in Stone and Upon Our Hearts

Posted on September 1, 2023

With this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, we can feel a rising pitch of urgency. Moses is coming to the end of his life and is delivering his final words to the children of Israel. So invested is he in assuring the continuity of his people’s mission that he is leaving no stone unturned to Continue Reading »

We Must Not Be Indifferent

Posted on August 25, 2023

One of Elie Wiesel’s most important teachings is that “the opposite of good is not evil, it is indifference.” He knew this because he witnessed it. Having survived the Holocaust, he understood how the silent acquiescence of so called good people enabled the massacre of the six million, how passivity in the face of evil Continue Reading »

Beware the Concentration of Power

Posted on August 18, 2023

This week’s parashah, Shoftim, reads like a primer on the science of good government. And could it possibly come at a more critical time? Across the globe, issues of political power and governance are increasingly contentious and controversial. Populism and authoritarianism are on the rise in Europe and are threatening the very foundations of democracy Continue Reading »


Posted on August 11, 2023

In the Torah portion of R’eih (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17), the concept of charity, or “tzedakah” in Hebrew, is mentioned as part of the greater discussion about the many commandments and laws that the Israelites were to follow. The term “tzedakah” is often translated as “charity,” but its meaning goes beyond mere charitable acts; it encompasses the Continue Reading »

613 to 3

Posted on August 4, 2023

There can be no better summary of this week’s Torah portion, Eikev from the Book of Deuteronomy, than that found in the writings of the prophet Micah (6:8). “What the Eternal requires of you: Only to do justice, and to love goodness and to walk modestly with your God.” Rabbinic commentary tells us that Micah Continue Reading »

The What, How, and Why of Jewish Life

Posted on July 28, 2023

This week’s parshah can be compared to a Cliff’s Notes for the entire Torah – it starts with Moses beseeching God one more time to allow him to enter the promised land, then quickly moves into a re-telling and elaboration of the Ten Commandments. This is followed by the Shema and Ve’ahavta, and finally concludes Continue Reading »

Coming Home

Posted on June 30, 2023

Just this past week, some of us at TBE returned from a congregation trip to Israel, led by rabbi Gluck and his longtime friend and master tour guide, Yitzchak Sokoloff. Our time there was filled with overflowing feasts of all of the senses, as well as a full and rich schedule of places to see, Continue Reading »