Shabbat Lekh L’kha: Be Curious, Be Brave

I recently received an email offering new Torah commentaries “for the curious and brave” – a provocative phrase that immediately makes me feel a sense of challenge. After all, I think that our Torah study is already pretty satisfying to the curious, and challenging to the brave. But I’m also excited to check out theContinue reading “Shabbat Lekh L’kha: Be Curious, Be Brave”

Shabbat Noakh: Sometimes It Floods

Sometimes life comes at you faster than you can thoughtfully respond. In our parashat hashavua one person, Noakh, suddenly discovers that his world is going to end in a great flood of water that will cover the earth as far as he knows it to exist. He builds a giant boat as he is directed by G-d, andContinue reading “Shabbat Noakh: Sometimes It Floods”

Shabbat Bereshit: Beginning Again, But Not at the Beginning

Here we go again with the beginning! This week we begin once again to read the Torah. Our parashah is Bereshit, “in [the process of] beginning”. We all know how it begins, and we all know what happens in the story: creation of the world, then of plants, animals and human beings, and then theContinue reading “Shabbat Bereshit: Beginning Again, But Not at the Beginning”

Shabbat hol hamo’ed Sukkot: the fragile sukkah can only be protected with ethics

Our Sukkah is up, and swaying a bit, as it does every year. It’s a stark reminder that it is so very difficult for human beings to really be safe and secure from the storms that threaten our lives. Curiously, our parashah for the Shabbat of hol hamo’ed (intermediate days of) Sukkot doesn’t mention the sukkah. Rather, it includesContinue reading “Shabbat hol hamo’ed Sukkot: the fragile sukkah can only be protected with ethics”

Yom Kippur 5775: Shabbat Shabbaton, the “Mother of all Shabbatot”

The human being is a messenger who forgot the message. – Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel This evening at sundown begins Yom Kippur, a Shabbat like no other. It is called Shabbat Shabbaton, the “Shabbat of Shabbatot” – we might call it “the Mother of all Shabbatot.”  (ShabbatOHT is the plural of Shabbat.) The concept of aContinue reading “Yom Kippur 5775: Shabbat Shabbaton, the “Mother of all Shabbatot””