December 4, 2017 — Chanukah

On Tuesday night December 12 we begin the holiday of Chanukah and continue celebrating it until the final candle that will be lit on the night of December 20.  Chanukah is a holiday of miracles shrouded in mystery and mistakenly often viewed as a holiday for children.  Chanukah is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible,… View Article

November 17, 2017 — Toldot

This week’s Parashah (Torah portion) is called “Toldot”.  You will find it in the Book of Genesis 25:19-28:9.  Traditionally, this section is considered Isaac’s section, that is that it is the one part of the Torah that focuses on Isaac’s life, the least assuming of the three Patriarchs. The section, however, is as much about Rebecca… View Article

November 10, 2017 — Chaye-Sarah

This week’s Torah portion (Genesis 23:1-25:18) is one of the more ironic sections in the Hebrew Bible. Furthermore, even today we live with its consequences. Called “Chaye-Sarah/the Life of Sarah” it first speaks of Sarah’s death and burial and then her “replacement” by the second matriarch of of Israel, Rebecca.  The theme of generational change of… View Article

November 2, 2017 — Vayera

This week’s portion is called “Vayera”.  You will find it in the Book of Genesis 18:1 – 22:24. Because “Vayera” is the section that perhaps contains the greatest literary chapter of the entire Bible, namely chapter 22 of Genesis, there is a tendency to want to write only about this chapter.  Needless to say, a… View Article

October 18, 2017 — Breyshit and Noach

Due to a heavy travel schedule this week we shall examine the first two weekly Torah portions.  They are called Breyshit and Noach (Genesis 1:1- 11:32). Together they deal with what is called “pre-history”, with the creation legends, and these two sections’ central issue of good and evil.  To a great extent, faced with issues such as… View Article

October 10, 2017 — Happy Simchat Torah!

This Wednesday night we mark the holiday of Simchat Torah, the last of the four major religious holidays celebrated during the month of Tishrei. Although Simchat Torah is a joyous holiday, it is also a time of contemplation. This is the day when we bring our yearly cycle of Torah readings to an end, and… View Article

October 5, 2017 — Sukkoth

Perhaps no major Jewish holiday is as joyous as Sukkoth. Yet even Sukkoth is not just a time of celebration, but also a time of pensive contemplation. Sukkoth is often called the Jewish Thanksgiving (though it would be historically more accurate to call Thanksgiving the American Sukkoth).  It is also is time when we confront… View Article

September 28, 2017 — Yom Kippur

Rosh Ha’Shanah providedus with an opportunity to take an inventory of our own lives and our relationships with others. Tomorrow night as the sun sets Yom Kippur enters into our lives.  Yom Kippur demands of us that we to turn to G-d, that we realize that each of us is a mere mortal, and asks us to seek G-d’s forgiveness for… View Article

September 19, 2017 — Rosh Ha’Shanah

Tomorrow evening the year shall be ending, 5777; has not been an easy year. Millions around the world are ready for this past year to end and hope and pray that the New Year of 5778 will be a year of peace and personal tranquility.  This past year was marked with strife, with political discord, with… View Article

September 16, 2017 — Nitzavim and VaYelech

This coming Sabbath (September 16) we read a double Torah portion. These are the final sections read prior to the New Year. These weekly sections are Nitzavim and VaYelech. You can find them in the Book of Deuteronomy starting in chapter 25:9 and going until chapter 31:30.  Although there are many ways to understand a Biblical… View Article