October 11, 2018 – Noach

This week’s parashah is the second of what Biblical scholars classify as “pre-history.” Last week we studied the creation stories found in the first weekly section called: “Bresheet”. This first parashah ends with the first acts of terrorism, the mass murders committed by Lemech. Lemech not only committed mass-murder but also bragged about his exploits…. View Article

October 4, 2018 – Braysheet

With the close of the month of Tishrei we once again turn to our weekly Torah readings. The challenge of reading the text yearly and constantly finding new interpretations and meanings to an ancient text is both arduous and exhilarating. In a sense, this constant rereading of the text reminds us that moderns fail when… View Article

September 28, 2018 – Simchat Torah

Monday night, September 30, we bring the holiday season to a close with Simchat Torah celebrations. Simchat Torah adds the last piece to the lessons learned during this holiday season. During the holy month of Tishre we have celebrated four distinct holidays, each teaching us a different lesson. Rosh Ha’Shanah is the holiday when we… View Article

September 21, 2018 – Happy Sukkot

At sundown on this Sunday night we begin the third festival of the holy month of Tishre; The festival of Sukkoth. Many called Sukkoth the Jewish Thanksgiving (though it would be historically more accurate to call Thanksgiving the American Sukkoth). This is the time when we confront one of the most trying periods of Jewish… View Article

September 6, 2018 – Rosh Ha’Shanah

Monday night, September 9, begins Rosh Ha’Shanah, the Jewish New Year. The Jewish New Year is different from other New Year celebrations. It is not a festive time, but a time for deep contemplation. The New Year begins on the first day of the seventh month on the Biblical calendar. Placed exactly in the middle… View Article

August 30, 2018 — Ki Tavo

This week’s parashah (weekly Torah portion) is called Ki Tavo, You will find it in the Book of Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8. Upon reading the parashah carefully, we discover one of its underlying themes is the conflict between classical Greek and Hebrew thought. Ancient Greece placed its emphasis on how things appeared. Its philosophy offered us “a… View Article

August 16, 2018 – Shoftim

The name of this week’s parashah is “Shoftim.” In it (Deut: 16:17-21:9) we find the second part of Moses’ great good-bye soliloquies. This is the soliloquy that we began in last week’s parashah. Part Two of this very long speech defines what it means to be a “holy people”. The text tells us that to… View Article

August 9, 2018 – Re’eh

This week’s parashah is called Re’eh. You will find it in the Book of Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17. The parashah touches on a number of themes. Among these are: the need to pay taxes (tithes), the idea of the false prophet, the Shmitah year (when the land is to lay fallow), laws concerning servitude, and the three… View Article

July 29, 2018 – Dvarim and VaEtchanan

Two weeks ago we began our yearly reading of the Torah’s fifth book, Sefer Dvarim or as it is known in English, “ The Book of Deuteronomy.” Because last week we studied the meaning of the Holiday of “Tishah b’Av” now we turn to the first two of Deuteronomy’s weekly sections. In a sense Parashat… View Article

July 19, 2018 – Tishah b’Av

Most nations mark their national successes and gloss over their national failures. Jews are different. Not only do we take the time to mark great moments, such as Passover, in Jewish history, but we also take the time to observe national days of failure. The Jewish calendar, reflecting life itself, is a mixture of sweetness… View Article