Holidays

Shabbat Chazon — Vision

Posted on July 16, 2021

This Shabbat, the Shabbat preceding Tisha B’Av, is called Shabbat Chazon, named for the chazon, the vision of the Prophet Isaiah that is the Haftarah for this day. It is a dark and menacing vision of the impending doom the Israelites are bringing upon themselves. They are guilty of spiritual hypocrisy, says Isaiah, for they Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Renewing Seder

Posted on March 26, 2021

A message for Shabbat Hagadol (the Shabbat before Pesach) Seder means “order” in Hebrew, and on Passover it refers to the order of the service we conduct to relive the journey from bondage to freedom. A year ago, as we prepared for Passover, we found ourselves suddenly out of order, or, as we say in Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Purim and the Perils of Powerlessness

Posted on February 26, 2021

As kids we loved Purim. Dressing up, playing carnival games, booing Haman, and watching adults being silly. It was all great fun. As adults, the frivolity of Purim is tempting. It awakens the innocence of childhood within us, and that can be a welcome thing, as long as one doesn’t actually read the Megillah. For Continue Reading »

Signs and Forces of Renewal

Posted on January 15, 2021

One of my favorite things about TuBiShvat is that it portends the arrival of spring. When my family and I lived in Israel, we used to go out to the Carmel Forest near Haifa on TuBiShvat to see the cyclamens and the almond blossoms, the first signs of new life. Even in Israel, which is Continue Reading »

Rabbi’s Message: Thanksgiving in a Time of Pandemic?

Posted on November 13, 2020

Thanksgiving and the pandemic sound like a contradiction in terms. A plague is ravaging our country. What have we to be grateful for? A lot, actually! And, it is precisely when we are beset by troubles that it becomes all the more important to practice gratitude, if for nothing other than our mental health. Giving Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Joined at the Heart

Posted on October 9, 2020

A Message for Shabbat & Simchat Torah In 1999 I was invited to write the following commentary for the URJ 10 Minutes of Torah. It was subsequently published in a URJ Press collection of Torah teachings. I share it with you now on the eve of Simchat Torah to lift your hearts and inspire us Continue Reading »

Build your Own Sukkah with Dave Cohen

Posted on September 16, 2020

Have you ever wanted to build your own sukkah but thought the task was too daunting? Well, fear no more! TBE’s own Dave Cohen designed a simple DIY Sukkah. Recently, Dave constructed the sukkah on video to demonstrate just how easy it is to build. Here are links to the diagram and video instructions. Diagram Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Moving Toward Elul

Posted on August 14, 2020

At this time of summer, the days begin to approach the month of Elul, a month of reflection and looking inward, leading into the High Holy days. We are also in the midst of the seven weeks of comfort following Tisha B’Av, when the Haftarah each week is selected from the book of Isaiah, and Continue Reading »

Shabbat Mevarechim

Posted on July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020 25 Tammuz 5780 This Shabbat is one of those traditionally called Mevarechim, a Shabbat on which we recite the blessing for the new month in anticipation of Rosh Chodesh (the first day of the new Hebrew month). The coming Hebrew month is the month of Av. The most mournful day of the Continue Reading »

Blessings of “K’ilu”

Posted on April 7, 2020

“In every generation we must see ourselves as if we personally went forth from Egypt…”   (The Haggadah)   Until now, I have never fully appreciated the significance of these two little words, “as if.” In Hebrew, one word suffices to say this, and that word is “k’ilu.”Children seem to understand innately the possibilities of k’ilu. Continue Reading »