Shabbat Tzav: The Boss of You

אש תמיד תוקד על המזבח לא תכבה eysh tamid tukad al hamizbe’akh lo tikhbeh Fire shall be kept continually burning on the altar; don’t let it go out (Lev. 6.6) The parashat hashavua we immerse ourselves in all this week is called Tzav, literally “order” or “command” in the imperative form. It’s quite abrupt: oneContinue reading “Shabbat Tzav: The Boss of You”

Shabbat VaYikra, coming up on Purim: Nurturing the little Alef of our Future

אָח֣וֹר וָקֶ֣דֶם צַרְתָּ֑נִי וַתָּ֖שֶׁת עָלַ֣י כַּפֶּֽכָה  You formed me before and after, You lay Your hand upon me – Psalms 139.5 Rabbi Yohanan recalled the verse Let us make the earthling in Our Image and Our Likeness (Genesis 1.26). Rabbi Yirmiyah ben Elazar said, “at the moment when the Holy Blessed One created the firstContinue reading “Shabbat VaYikra, coming up on Purim: Nurturing the little Alef of our Future”

Shabbat Pekudey: It’s Not a Sin to Take a Break

Actually, the opposite is true. שֵׁ֣שֶׁת יָמִים֮ תֵּעָשֶׂ֣ה מְלָאכָה֒ וּבַיּ֣וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֗י יִהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֥ם קֹ֛דֶשׁ  On six days work may be done, but on the seventh day rest is holy (Ex. 35.2) As of sundown today, the work has to be done. Whatever it is you are doing, after sundown on the sixth day it isContinue reading “Shabbat Pekudey: It’s Not a Sin to Take a Break”

War In Ukraine

  לְ֭מַעַן אַחַ֣י וְרֵעָ֑י אֲדַבְּרָה־נָּ֖א שָׁל֣וֹם בָּֽךְ  For the sake of my kin and friends, I pray for your well-being לְ֭מַעַן בֵּית־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֵ֑ינוּ אֲבַקְשָׁ֖ה ט֣וֹב לָֽךְ  for the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I seek your good Psalm 122. 8-9 When in 2003 I came to Congregation Shir Tikvah of Portland Oregon at theContinue reading “War In Ukraine”