Israel

Noah: Don't "Go With the Flow"

Noah: Don't "Go With the Flow"
Now the earth was corrupt in G-d’s sight, and filled with violence.  (Genesis 6:11).   Thus begins the fateful story, told in this week’s Torah portion, of G-d’s destruction by flood of life on earth, except for Noah, h... Continue Reading »

Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel

Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel
This week I participated in the Rosh Chodesh (new month) Women of the Wall [WOTW – womenofthewall.org.il] service at the Kotel (Western Wall).   You might find my observations and thoughts of interest.  [Introduction: If you are fa]... Continue Reading »
Jul 12
Posted in: Israel

Pinchas: Exercising our Privilege

Pinchas: Exercising our Privilege
(Given at Kehillat Moreshet Yisrael, Jerusalem) A few years ago, I read an “historical novel” by Howard Fast called My Glorious Brothers.  Its narrator – Simon ben Mattathias – tells how his father killed a man to prev... Continue Reading »

Balak: Better Depressed Than Dead!

Balak: Better Depressed Than Dead!
In this week’s Torah portion, King Balak of Moab hires the prophet Balaam to: “Come, curse Jacob for me and come invoke wrath against Israel.”  Balaam describes Israel as “a nation that will dwell alone, and will not be r... Continue Reading »

Chukat: Moses was Here!(?)

Chukat: Moses was Here!(?)
The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh. … The congregation had no water; so they assembled against Moses and Aaron.  (Numbers 20:1-2). &... Continue Reading »

Shelach: Cutting the Cord?

Shelach: Cutting the Cord?
When Jews recite the Sh'ma and V'ahavtah, our custom is to gather the tassels (tzizit) of our Tallit and recite aloud the following verse from this week’s parasha, Shelach, (among others):  דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְ... Continue Reading »

Behaalotecha: “Throwing the Book” at Our Enemies

Behaalotecha: “Throwing the Book” at Our Enemies
7,500 miles, and perhaps an even greater distance in liturgical philosophy, separate the two synagogues to which I belong.  One is a Conservative (Masorti) congregation in Jerusalem, a less-than 20-minute walk from where the Ark of the Covenant ... Continue Reading »

Emor: Does This Mean War?

Emor: Does This Mean War?
This week, Israeli newspapers were rife with explicit threats of war. This wouldn’t have been surprising had they referred to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, or with Hezbollah and/or Hamas, or, of course, with Iran. &nbs... Continue Reading »

Ki Tissa: Shabbat in Jerusalem

Ki Tissa: Shabbat in Jerusalem

“V’shamru v’nai Yisrael et haShabbat, la’asot et haShabbat l’dorotam b’rit olam….” The Israelite people shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time:  Ex. 31:16  This familiar Saturday morning Kiddush verse comes from this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tissa.  But the Torah says relatively little about how the Sabbath is to be observed. ...

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Purim: Could Mordecai Buy Life Insurance?

Purim: Could Mordecai Buy Life Insurance?

For me, Purim’s predominant, eternal theme is the precariousness of life for all Jews.   In a land ruled by others, even one that apparently welcomed and accepted us, (according to a Midrash, Mordecai, known to be a Jew, was a member of the royal security police; even if not, he was publicly honored for his action), an anti-Semite was nearly able to wipe us out.  Only a series of unlikely “coincidences” ... 

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A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.
Jewish Proverb