Hope

Ad La Yada? This Year, Maybe Not

Posted on March 18, 2022

I have to admit, Purim is bothering me this year. The seemingly unending number of social, cultural, and political ills that plague the world make it hard to feel light and frivolous. Quite the opposite, I’m feeling heavy and distressed. And yet, here we are — it’s Purim, and frivolity and fun are what’s called Continue Reading »

Gratitude for the Release of Rabbi Cytron-Walker and his congregants

Posted on January 15, 2022

Dear Friends, We join with our sisters and brothers of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas in expressing our relief and gratitude for the safe release of Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker and the two members of their congregation who were held hostage in a terrible act of terror and antisemitism. We are grateful for the outpouring 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 »

A Time for Reflection

Posted on April 6, 2021

This last year has been challenging for all of us, with great difficulties for many, and tragedy for some. In recent weeks, I have started to feel sentiment beginning to turn toward optimism, as the trends in infection rates and deaths fall and we contemplate when the vaccines can begin to deliver us from our Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: All Life Can Be a Sanctuary

Posted on March 12, 2021

This week’s double Torah portion, Vayak’heil-P’kudei, describes the completion of the Tabernacle, the very first sanctuary of the Jewish People. What I find most notable about the construction of this sacred space is how the resources were secured for the project. There was no mandatory participation, no tax levied to raise funds. Instead, the community 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 »