Entries for January 2014

Terumah: Paying our "voluntary" dues

Terumah: Paying our "voluntary" dues
When I became bar mitzvah in the Fall of 1968, my father, z”l, had recently completed two terms as President of the local synagogue.  That must be why my speech was about the "ten percent tithe."  Donations wouldn&rsquo... Continue Reading »

Mishpatim: It's "That Time of Month."

Mishpatim: It's "That Time of Month."
This Shabbat, Mishpatim, is also “Shabbat Mevarechim” -- the Shabbat on which “we bless.”    What do we bless (or sanctify)?  The new month that begins during the coming week.  In this case, the mon... Continue Reading »

Yitro: The Most Jewish Thing We Can Do.

Yitro: The Most Jewish Thing We Can Do.
What's “the most Jewish thing” we can do?   Say the Sh’ma?  Light and bless Shabbat candles?  Fast on Yom Kippur?   Keep kosher? Tell a Jewish joke?  (For the latter, see Pew Report opinions). Gi... Continue Reading »

Beshallach: Has your rabbi ever asked you this?

Beshallach: Has your rabbi ever asked you this?
When was the last time your rabbi -- indeed, any Jew – inquired about your relationship with G-d?  I suspect that the answer is “never.”   What would you say/how would you feel if he/she did so?  Would you be at a ... Continue Reading »
Jan 10

Bo: The Karet and the Stick

Bo: The Karet and the Stick
[Given at Kehillat Moreshet Yisrael, Jerusalem, 12/31/2013 – 28 Tevet 5774] Motzei Shabbat, I attended a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis in which he discussed some of the implications of the Pew Report.  Perhaps his most interesting ... Continue Reading »

If charity cost nothing, the world would be full of philanthropists.
Jewish Proverb