Weekly Torah Portion

 

8.10.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Parashat Re’eh Resentment is that bitter indignation at believing we have been treated unfairly. It’s what happens when the stories we tell ourselves about what we deserve do not match reality, and we say to ourselves, “This is so unfair!” We all carry resentments: towards our supervisors for passing us over for a raise or… Read more »

8.3.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Parashat Eikev My three-year-old daughter, as many young children do, has recently developed many fears.  She is afraid of going down the drain.  She is fearful of the dark and the shadows that linger in her bedroom.  She is wary of cars when we are crossing the street (this is a good one I know). … Read more »

7.27.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Parashat Va-Etchanan Clarity This week we read in our Torah portion the verses that later will become part of the most sacred of Jewish prayers, the Shmah: Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day.  Impress them upon your children.  Recite them when you stay at home and when you are… Read more »

7.20.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Parashat D’Varim This week’s Parashah is D’Varim.  This translates to “things/words.”  This is the beginning Parashah of the 5th Book of the Torah, D’Varim/Deuteronomy.  It is also the beginning of Moses’ last speech to the Israelite People.  Moses is still upset about not getting to enter the Land of Canaan, and he takes out his… Read more »

7.13.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Mattot-Mas’ei This week’s Torah portion is a double portion which always occurs during the Three Weeks prior to Tisha b’Av, the darkest day on the Jewish calendar when we recall the destruction of the Temple.  The parashah opens with a discussion about vows.  “If a person makes a vow….that one shall do whatever comes out… Read more »

7.6.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Reading morally challenging texts in the Torah can be approached in more than one way. We can recognize that the text should not be read literally, but rather came about in a time and place with much different moral standards than our own.  One weakness of this methodology is that it’s fine if we’re studying… Read more »

6.29.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

This week’s Torah Portion is Balak. This is the name of the King of Moab, a country that Israel would overtake.  He is afraid of the Israelites and calls for Balaam, a prophet to curse the people so that he can defeat the Israelites.  He is so into winning that he doesn’t consider talking to… Read more »

6.22.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Sometimes the only thing that can penetrate the thickest of walls is the wailing of a child. As a parent of a two-year old, I’ve become quite familiar with a child’s cry. Over the course of the past two years, I’ve grown more accustomed to our son’s crying and the various sentiments he’s expressing. I’ve… Read more »

6.14.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

When I was in college, I was in a Greek house, a co-ed fraternity. In some ways my experience was unusual (there aren’t many co-ed fraternities out there) and in other ways my experience was typical (rushing, pledging, and partying). Looking back, I find the most lasting lessons of this experience involve leadership. I had… Read more »

6.1.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

This week’s Torah Portion is Be’haalotcha. This translates to “in his arising/going up.” This Parashah has a lot in it. I want to focus on the problems that are encountered this week. The people became unsatisfied and complained again! They remembered the great food they ate in Egypt and wanted the meat, fish, leeks, etc…. Read more »

1.26.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

I want to begin this week with GRATITUDE for everyone involved in our Gala and especially Janet Rosenblum and Avia Rosen! We have had an enormous amount of fun and reached amazing milestones. The dedication of the entire Development department is beyond description and measure. Avia and Janet, thank you for leading the charge and… Read more »

1.19.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

This week marks the beginning of a personal transition as I enter my final semester of rabbinical school. While exciting and full of purpose, this moment is also fraught with uncertainty and anxiety. I recognize this space of questioning and internal strife and it feels all too familiar; it is not the first time I… Read more »

01.12.18 Weekly Torah Portion

n one of my groups this week, we looked at the opening passages of this week’s Parasha, Vaera, in which God appears to Moses, explaining that, while our ancestors knew God by the name “El-Shaddai,” Moses will know God by the name “Adonai.” I asked the people in the group why they thought God would need… Read more »

1.5.2018 Weekly Torah Portion

Of all the rich imagery and noteworthy scenes in this week’s parsha, the beginning of the book of Exodus, there’s one in particular which is at the forefront of my mind. After Pharaoh’s edict to have all newborn males killed, Moses’ mother, unable to bear what will become of her son, places him in a… Read more »

12.29.2017 Torah Portion

As Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker in Marvel’s Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” While most of us have not been bitten by radioactive spiders and granted the special abilities of Spiderman, we still each have the opportunity to find ourselves in positions of power. Sometimes this power comes from a job or… Read more »