Shabbat Messate Parashat Bo: The Greatest Storytellers

Posted on January 27, 2023

This Shabbat, we study Parshahat Bo from the Book of Exodus. The word ‘Bo’ is translated in English as ‘Come’ and, according to scholars, can be read as ‘come to Pharaoh’ in this Parsha. Bo depicts the last three of the Ten Plagues which descended upon Egypt: a swarm of locusts which destroyed all the Continue Reading »

In the End, It’s About Appearances…

Posted on January 20, 2023

Parashat Va-eira; Exodus 6:2-9:35 This week’s Torah portion Va-eira begins in the book of Exodus chapter 6, verse 2. In Hebrew this book is called Sh’mot – the Book of Names. The fifteenth century Italian commentator Ovadia ben Jacob Sforno teaches that “a name describes the individual features of a person. And these individual features are Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: The Common Thread of Tikkun Olam

Posted on January 13, 2023

It is appropriate on this Martin Luther King Day Shabbat, that we read in parshat Sh’mot the story of how the Israelites became enslaved by the Egyptians, and how they started on their road to redemption. As I read through the parashah I am struck by Pharoah’s attempt to enlist the Israelite midwives in thesubjugation Continue Reading »

A Great Ending to A Great Story

Posted on January 6, 2023

Parashat Vayechi Genesis 47:28 – 50:26 This week’s parsha is Vayechi, which means “and he lived.” It is the final portion of the Book of Genesis and the end of the Joseph Cycle. This being a family Shabbat, and with your indulgence, I’d like to specifically include our young people in sharing my comments. As Continue Reading »

Let the New Year and its Blessings Begin!

Posted on December 30, 2022

There is a human tendency to look to the future through the rear-view mirror — to assume that what was is what will be, and that what is happening now will inevitably continue. The Torah does not share this view. It sees every moment as filled with possibility and potential for change. This attitude, this Continue Reading »

Shabbat Chanukah: We Must Fight Like the Maccabees for the Soul of Israel

Posted on December 23, 2022

On November 1, Israel held its fifth round of elections in less than four years. The good news is that the vote was free and fair. It was an unquestionable, unassailable exercise in representative democracy. The bad news for those committed to liberal democracy and religious pluralism is that the voice of the people has Continue Reading »

Vayeshev: We Need Our Sisters and Brothers

Posted on December 16, 2022

The Torah contains many examples of what I like to call “billboard moments” – moments when the text distills a kernel of life’s wisdom into a pithy statement you would want to put on a billboard to announce to the world. These include sayings like: “Justice, justice shall you pursue,” or “love your neighbor as Continue Reading »

Vayishlach: A Dishonest Man, An Impractical Plan, The Correct Result

Posted on December 9, 2022

This week’s parsha is Vayishalach, meaning “and he sent.” As the portion opens, Jacob is sending messengers to his twin brother Esau, who he has not seen since he left Canaan 20 years earlier. The message to be delivered is that Jacob has prospered, and he hopes to please and impress Esau with his material Continue Reading »

Vayeira 5783: The Gift of Life

Posted on November 11, 2022

I asked Rabbi Gluck for the opportunity to write the Shabbat message this week as tonight marks the beginning of the National Donor Sabbath celebrating organ donation, commonly called the “Gift of Life.” Organ donation is a subject near and dear to my family – in December 2003, I received a kidney from one of Continue Reading »

Lech L’cha: We Are Not Expected to Complete the Work

Posted on November 4, 2022

In this week’s parashah, the Jewish people is born with God’s call to Abraham “Lech l’cha, Go forth…go forth to a land that I will show you.” God promises that Abraham will be the founder of a great nation. God will bless Abraham and make his name great, and he will a source of blessing Continue Reading »