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My own religious experiences and work as a learner-educator, tend to nudge me towards seeing the Holy Blessed One less as a judge or parent and more as the Artful Holy Pedagogue. In that spirit I never cease to be gobsmacked by the radical and profound beauty of the Tower of Bavel story we b…

The natural desire to make meaning of our world caused human beings to develop hundreds of origin stories, each unique to the culture and people who created them.

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I was blessed to grow up in an environment that took Jewish tradition seriously. Shabbat and festivals were welcomed with great anticipation and we felt a deep and palpable sense of the rhythms and cycles of living lives that were sanctified and sacred. No Holy-Day was more eagerly awaited t…

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The mood swing from Yom Kippur to Sukkot is among the most dramatic of Jewish transitions. From sobriety to celebration, from awe-struck fear to total joy, from fasting to feasting, we re-engage with the world beyond the walls of synagogue, remembering that in physical pleasure there may als…

So you got fat [Deut. 32:15], G*d would have suckled you with honey from a rock and oil from a flinty stone butter of cattle milk or sheep fat of lambs, but you became thick and you kicked. 

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“Hayom Harat Olam!” “Today is the birthday of the world!” We often hear or say these words during our services on Rosh Hashanah, particularly when we hear the sound of the shofar. “Happy birthday, world,” we say when we try to explain in simple terms one of the oldest themes of our Jewish Ne…

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As we find ourselves in the seventh month of the “new normal” of COVID-19 and near the beginning of the New Year 5781, one of the most popular catch phrases has become, “We’re all in this together.” This statement is intended to awaken within each person a sense of personal and communal resp…

Sometimes, the only way to remember is to forget. True, most of us worry when we begin to forget things that we once easily remembered. We fear our own loss of cognitive function and that of our loved ones, knowing that the decline of mental acuity and, for many, the onset of memory loss and…

One of our esteemed and notable local rabbis once told a class of beginning adult students that there is no topic that Torah fails to address. Generation by generation, rabbinic minds took an ancient narrative and crafted a never-ending story. We have never been more a part of this story tha…

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The last book of the Torah is a multilayered narrative opening with an experienced Moses reminding a new generation of Israelites about the challenges their parents faced as they left a narrow place of ancient Egyptian servitude. The Book of Deuteronomy is called Devarim in Hebrew.  

Matot is the word for tribes in the opening verse. We have another word for tribe: shevet. Matei (singular) and shevet both signify a branch, a staff, part of a tree, how a branch becomes a tribe. I am thinking about this as I stoop to kiss the ground and remember our devotion and respect to…

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