April 11, 2018 – Tazria & Mtzorah

This week we read a double Torah portion and also mark one of the saddest days on the Jewish calendar.  Tonight we mark Yom Ha’Shoah, the day we remember the six million Jews murdered in Europe during World War II. In reality, we should expand the day to remember not only those Jews murdered by… View Article

March 29, 2018 – Ha’Shavúa

This coming Friday night, Jews across the world sit down to what may be the world’s greatest on-going feast: the Passover Seder.  Passover has a strange hold on people. Though it is the hardest holiday to keep, (who really likes matzah by day 8?) it is also the most popular.  Even the least religious somehow… View Article

March 22, 2018 – VaYikra and Tzav

Because of a heavy travel schedule this week we study the first two sections of Hebrew Scripture’s third book: the Book of Leviticus. We read Parashat VaYikra (Leviticus 11-5:29) and Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:39). There is no doubt that the Book of Leviticus contains some of the Hebrew’s Bible’s loftiest ideals. The book also has… View Article

March 9, 2018 – VaYakel and Pkudei

There is no doubt that many readers would prefer to skip the final sections of the Book of Exodus. The book’s last two sections: VaYakel and Pkudei (Exodus 33:1-40:38) are not easy to read. Indeed, if one of the lessons of the Book of Exodus is that life is a struggle, then these two sections… View Article

February 28, 2018 – The Book of Esther

Tonight (Feb 28) and today (March 1) we celebrated the holiday of Purim.  Perhaps no holiday offers more “fun” than Purim’s festivities.  Based on the Book of Esther, Megilat-Esther, Purim appears to be a holiday that appeals more to our hedonistic side than to our spiritual side. Yet it is the only Biblical holiday declared by… View Article

February 19, 2018 – Trumah & Titzaveh

Due to a heavy travel schedule this week we will discuss the parashah for this Sabbath, “Trumah” (Exodus 25:1-27:25) February 16th, and next week’s portion called Titzaveh (Exodus 27:26-30:10). Although each of these parashiyot (plural of parashah) has its own specific theme, if we read them carefully we will note that there are several factors… View Article

February 8, 2018 – Mishpatim

Last week we studied Parashat Yitro. It is in that parashah that we read about the giving of the Ten Commandments.  This week we turn to Parashat Mishpatim. If we see the Ten Commandments as the theory of law, then this week’s parashah is the text’s first attempt to fill out the law.   From this… View Article

February 2, 2018 – Yitro

This week we turn to one of the great Biblical masterpieces, a work that provides great insights into both political science.  As a vignette, it stands alone as a literary masterpiece, and as part of the Exodus story, it takes us from the historical narrative to the philosophical and profound. You will find Parashat Yitro… View Article

January 19, 2018 – Bo

This week we compare the Parashah (Bible portion) for the week of January 19, “Parashat Bo” (Exodus 10:1-13:16) with the Parashah for the upcoming week of January 28, (Parashat B’Shlach: Exodus 13:17-17:16).  Although these two long parashiyot (plural of parashah) may at first seem disconnected, if we carefully examine their themes, we see that the… View Article

January 11, 2018 — VaYechi

These last few weeks have not been easy for much of the world.  From airport shutdowns to train wrecks, from winter storm to political turmoil we cannot help but feel as if we are watching the unfolding of events worthy of almost Biblical proportions. This week’s Bible portion seems to connect our current tragedy with past… View Article