Shabbat VaYishlakh: Becoming Whole By Becoming Oneself

There’s a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in – Leonard Cohen ז״ל In this week’s parashah, the eponymous ancestor of the People of Israel is given the name Israel. The deceiving, conniving, too smart by half Jacob has apparently achieved some kind of transition. The people Israel has for two thousand … Continue reading

Shabbat Toldot: Naming our Transgender Children

Today, Friday November 20, is Transgender Day of Remembrance. During Portland’s observance (last night on the eve of the day) we called the names of those who were murdered in the U.S. during this past year for no reason other than their transgender identity.  We remember them, and mourn the loss of these irreplaceable Images … Continue reading

A Prayer for Healing in the Time of COVID-19

Source of Healing, help us find healing. We seek strength for our spirit, resilience that will carry us through this plague in peace. Compassion that saves us, Heal the body of everyone struckwith the threatening virus, and heal the souls of all who suffer. Remember those who have died. Heal us and we shall be … Continue reading

Shabbat Lekh-L’kha: Making Light in Darkness

(image: close up in Torah scroll of Genesis 1.4 ויבדל אלהים בין האור ובין החשך G*d divided between the light and the darkness.) Shalom Shir Tikvah learning community, It’s getting darker every day now. How shall we trust our footsteps when we can’t see them? Where is the light that will dispel this hoshekh, this … Continue reading

Shabbat Noakh: Time to be stiff-necked

Once upon a time I was asked, “Rabbi, who was it who first called the Jews ‘stiff-necked’? It seems anti-Semitic.” I had to laugh. “Well, actually, it was G*d, in Exodus 32.9.” It seems to be the one thing that friends, enemies, and HaShem all agree upon, from Biblical to Talmudic to much later days … Continue reading