Shabbat HaGadol: The Bread of Jewish Resilience

This Shabbat is called Shabbat haGadol, “the Great Shabbat” and it is always the Shabbat that directly precedes Pesakh. Today, erev Shabbat, is 9 Nisan, and as 15 Nisan begins next Wednesday at sundown, Jews everywhere will observe the beginning of the oldest Jewish holy day. Our tradition urges us to see every day asContinue reading “Shabbat HaGadol: The Bread of Jewish Resilience”

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 Tzav: how to Keep that Fire Burning

This evening as Shabbat begins, the holiday of Purim finally ends, with the extra day called Shushan Purim, the Purim celebrated one day later by those who live in cities that were walled at the time of the Purim story, which takes place in ancient Persia (during the First Exile, 586-520 BCE, when the Jewish refugeesContinue reading “Shabbat Tzav: how to Keep that Fire Burning”

Shabbat Tzav: The Boss Of Me

You know what Reform Jews call it? The Ten Suggestions. That joke lies at the heart of a quandary that all Liberal, Progressive, Modern and Post-Modern Jews share, including those of us who call ourselves Independent: Heteronomy vs. Autonomy. Or, in other words, obedience to something outside myself, vs. “you ain’t the boss of me”. Heteronomy,Continue reading “Shabbat Tzav: The Boss Of Me”

Shabbat haGadol: Preparing for Today

This is the last Shabbat before we leave. Grab what you think you can take with you, we have no idea, really, what we’ll be facing, only that we’re leaving. בכל דור ודור חייב אד לראות את עצמו כאילו הוא יצא ממצרים . In every generation, each person is obligated to see himself as ifContinue reading “Shabbat haGadol: Preparing for Today”