Shabbat Shavuot: community – a healing of spiritual exile

The mystical doctrine of the sefirot clearly shows that we are all connected. We just don’t always sense it. We spend our life learning through experience and observation that, contrary to the popular American slogan, we are not really “rugged individuals”, solitarily in control of our own fate. First we learn that others will tellContinue reading “Shabbat Shavuot: community – a healing of spiritual exile”

Shabbat Shemini: Teach Us To Count Our Days

למנות ימינו כן הודע ונביא לבב חכמה Limnot yameynu keyn hoda’ v’navi levav hokhmah “Teach us to count our days that we might acquire a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90.12 “What day is it?” This isolation we are practicing for the sake of public health, and the disruption of the routines that define the daysContinue reading “Shabbat Shemini: Teach Us To Count Our Days”

Shabbat Shemot: A World Full of Suffering

We begin reading the Book of Exodus (Shemot, “Names”, in Hebrew) in the Torah this week; in the opening scenes, our ancestors find ourselves in a developing nightmare – and, unlike the dreams of Genesis, we can’t just wake up from it.  At first, all seemed well in our new homes in Egypt. But within theContinue reading “Shabbat Shemot: A World Full of Suffering”

Shabbat Mishpatim: Equality Before the Law – For All of Us

Last week in parashat Yitro we stood together at Sinai, and entered into the covenant with our G-d as a community, all equally necessary, equally precious. The text itself expresses this in unspecific language: And Moses brought forth the people [et ha’am] out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether partContinue reading “Shabbat Mishpatim: Equality Before the Law – For All of Us”