Ethics

Noach: We Have No Choice Other Than Repair

Posted on October 28, 2022

The Story of Noah and the Flood belongs to a genre known as apocalyptic literature. Found mostly in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, these scriptures describe cataclysmic events that will occur before God intervenes to redeem the world. All these prophecies speak of events that will occur at the End of Days, with Continue Reading »

B’reishit 5783: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Posted on October 21, 2022

According to our sacred story, human life began in an idyllic setting — in a garden called Eden that was a kind of paradise. I say a kind of paradise because it wasn’t perfect. It was a place where no one ever died because the Tree of Life bestowed immortality. But it was place where Continue Reading »

Matot-Masey: He Used to Say

Posted on July 29, 2022

I believe that neither I nor too many other Torah commentators could have written a more cogent and concise drash on this week’s Torah portions, Matot and Masey, than is expressed in the Hebrew words above. These parashiot, the penultimate and ultimate of the Book of Numbers, are combined this year so as to assure Continue Reading »

Should We Sing Songs from Marginalized Cultures?

Posted on July 28, 2022

As published in the  to the Women’s Cantor Network newsletter, Summer 2022 (PDF version) The impetus for my WCN Conference workshop, “Imitation through Music: Flattery or Cultural Misappropriation,” was a phone call from Ilana Axel 2 years ago, based on an email message I posted to the WCN listserv. I began the workshop with a Continue Reading »

Punishment and Consequences

Posted on July 8, 2022

This week’s Torah portion is from Bemidbar, the Book of Numbers, the fourth book of the Torah. It is entitled Chukat or “decree.” It takes place as the Israelites are nearing the end of the forty years of wandering in the desert Although this parashah is the shortest in the Book of Numbers, like all Continue Reading »

Celebrating Pride Shabbat

Posted on June 10, 2022

This month we celebrate Pride. But what does celebrating pride mean? For the LGBTQ+ community, Pride means being able to be yourself and be safe while being who God made you. This week’s Torah portion contains the following statement: “When a man or a woman commits any wrong toward a fellow human being, thus breaking Continue Reading »

To Be Holy Is to Be Ethical

Posted on May 6, 2022

The Torah’s boldest claim is not about God but about human beings. In the very first chapter of Genesis, Scripture declares that we are God-like, created in the Divine image, b’tzelem Elohim. As the Torah’s narrative unfolds, the meaning and implications of this distinction become clear. We have a moral capacity, the ability to discern Continue Reading »

A Hebrew Alphabet Acrostic of Thanks

Posted on May 1, 2022

Our Celebration Under the Stars honoring Sarah Gluck on her retirement was a joyous weekend (April 29-30). So many people spoke beautifully of their respect and appreciation of Sarah. And Sarah closed out the celebration with these words of thanks:   Thank you, Arnie. And everyone who has spoken, sung, played, and so, so much Continue Reading »