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 »

Shabbat Message: Curses and Blessings

Posted on July 15, 2022

Each Shabbat morning as we begin our worship, we sing the words Mah Tovu Ohalecha Yaakov Mishkanotecha Israel: How fair are your tents, O Jacob, Your dwellings, O Israel! Like palm-groves that stretch out, Like gardens beside a river, Like aloes planted by יהוה, Like cedars beside the water; Their boughs drip with moisture, Their Continue Reading »

Statement In Response to the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Roe v. Wade

Posted on June 28, 2022

To our TBE family, We felt it was important to reach out to you in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision which ended federal abortion rights after having them in place for the past 50 years. The US Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade leaves many of us feeling grief, fear, Continue Reading »

The Torah’s Vision for Life

Posted on May 20, 2022

The Dubner Maggid told a parable about a champion marksman who 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 was so amazed, he stopped his horse and yelled out: “Who is this Continue Reading »

Perfectly Imperfect

Posted on May 13, 2022

This week’s Torah portion, Emor, contains the disturbing instruction that physically disabled priests are to be barred from bringing offerings to the Sanctuary: No one at all who has a defect shall be qualified: no man who is blind, or lame, or has a limb too short or too long; no man who has a Continue Reading »

Finding God Within

Posted on February 18, 2022

In the opening portion of the Book of Exodus, Parashat Shemot, we read that as Moses looks away from the burning bush which is unconsumed by the flames, God calls out to him, “Moses, Moses!” And Moses answers “Hineini.” Here I am. God bids Moses to go to Pharaoh to set the people of Israel Continue Reading »

Standing for Repro Rights from Jewish Text and Tradition

Posted on January 28, 2022

I’m pleased to be able to speak on #ReproShabbat once again this year and during this week, along with clergy around the country, for the Shabbat when we read from parashat Mishpatim. I first want to acknowledge that much of my Jewish source material here is provided by my colleague, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg at the National Continue Reading »

Light in the Darkness

Posted on January 7, 2022

Midrash (Bereshit Rabbah 12:6) holds that after Adam had committed his first sin and experienced his first nightfall, he was filled with dread. He was afraid that the world was blacking out, running down and that he had caused it. He feared that under the cover of darkness, his enemy, the snake, would do him Continue Reading »

Blessings that Bring Blessings

Posted on December 17, 2021

My mother taught me a valuable lesson when she said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Though I am essentially a positive person, I needed that reminder then — and I still need it now. There is a human propensity to focus on the negative that undoubtedly stems from Continue Reading »

Lech L’cha – The Voices that Call Us Home

Posted on October 15, 2021

When I was 19, I had a lech l’cha moment. I heard an inner voice telling me lech l’cha, go forth, go to the land of your ancestors, to the land of your people. Go to your roots. Go find a part of yourself you do not yet know. I was in the middle of Continue Reading »