Author Archive

Chaye Sarah – The Ongoing Miracle of a Life Well Lived

November 11, 2014
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Chaye Sarah – The Ongoing Miracle of a Life Well Lived

Listen to an audio version It is noteworthy that this week’s portion, which is entitled, Chaye Sarah, the life of Sarah, actually chronicles the matriarch’s death and burial, and her husband’s contemplative mourning. It begins though with a one sentence retrospective of her life. “Sarah’s lifetime was one hundred years, twenty years, and seven...
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A More Intimate Gathering

October 16, 2014
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A More Intimate Gathering

Listen to an audio version When I was a boy growing up in New York our family gatherings were like a scene out of the Barry Levinson movie Avalon. On Thanksgiving and Chanukah especially our get-togethers would involve not only our immediate family, but also an extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles, great...
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Ki Tetse – Compassion In An UnJust World

September 1, 2014
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Ki Tetse – Compassion In An UnJust World

Listen to an audio version A number of years ago, while taking a leisurely walk with my wife and in-laws, we happened upon a very understated and unpublicized public demonstration. We had been visiting a local park well known for its exceptionally groomed rose gardens and went for a walk down a path that...
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Chaya’s Bat Mitzvah Speech

August 29, 2014
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Chaya’s Bat Mitzvah Speech

This past Shabbat we had an adult Bat Mitzvah at congregation Shuvah Yisrael. What made this so unique is that the Bat Mitzvah, Chaya Levy had converted to Judaism decades ago. In her drash Chaya shares from her Torah, Haftarah and besorah portions the theme of covenant faithfulness and what that has meant on...
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

May 13, 2014
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Bechukotai – Peace Within and Without

Listen to an audio version “…you will dwell securely in your land. I will provide peace in the land…” (Vayikra 26:5-6)   After the Torah guarantees that we will dwell in our land safely if we observe the mitzvot, it states redundantly, “I will provide peace in the land.” Some commentators explain that the...
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Emor – Kiddush Hashem

April 28, 2014
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Emor – Kiddush Hashem

Listen to an audio version It is no wonder that Americans grow ever more cynical regarding organized religion. I think few people are totally surprised by the recently exposed sexual abuses that have been going on within Catholic parishes, since the rumors have flown around for years. But I believe that which appalls most...
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Metzora – Concerning Lips and Lepers

April 1, 2014
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Metzora – Concerning Lips and Lepers

Listen to an audio version This year Parashot Tazria and Metzorah are separated so we can learn more than we ever wanted to know about how the Kohanim helped people cope with infectious disease and illness. Probably because it was so prevalent in the ancient Near East, Tzara’at, commonly called leprosy is the focus...
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Vayetse – Finding Our Rosebud

November 7, 2013
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Vayetse – Finding Our Rosebud

Listen to an audio version The movie Citizen Kane has been voted by many film academies and publications to be the greatest American movie of all time. Though the film’s cinematography was cutting edge in 1941, these are certainly not up to the technical capabilities of today’s films, so it is rather the penetrating...
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Lech Lecha – The Syntax of Silence

October 9, 2013
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Lech Lecha – The Syntax of Silence

Listen to an audio version Recently I heard of the business failure of a friend. This was not just anybody, but one of the most generous men I know. Though he is not a wealthy man, he has always been generous giving large sums to charity and always donating his time and talents to...
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B’reishit – Denying the Naked Ape

September 26, 2013
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B’reishit – Denying the Naked Ape

Listen to an audio version In 2002 PETA initiated its “Holocaust on a Plate”, an advertising campaign intended to draw attention to the plight of animals raised in factory farms for the purpose of satisfying America and Europe’s insatiable appetite for meat. The campaign was tasteless and insensitive, and perceived by most to accomplish...
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