Author Archive

Acharei Mot – Real Food for Real Men

May 5, 2016
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Acharei Mot – Real Food for Real Men

Listen to an audio version Recently I was in a Barnes and Noble and was surprised to discover that while the Judaism and the Spirituality sections seemed to be shrinking, the largest book section by far was the one dedicated to Paranormal Romance novels. Spawned by the phenomenal success of the Twilight series, teen...
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Shabbat Parah – Get Ready For Change

April 1, 2016
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Shabbat Parah – Get Ready For Change

I have always thought that cheshbon hanefesh, literally a reckoning with one’s own soul was a practice most appropriate at the beginning of Elul, the month that preceded Rosh Hashanah. To this end Rabbi Israel Salanter, founder of the nineteenth century Mussar revival, undertook a forty day period of silence annually, from the beginning...
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Vayera – A Rock Feels No Joy

October 28, 2015
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Vayera – A Rock Feels No Joy

Listen to an audio version I Am A Rock by Paul Simon A winter’s day in a deep and dark December I am alone gazing from my window to the ground below The earth’s beneath a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow I am a rock. I am an island. And a rock feels...
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Noach – Dominion after the Deluge

October 15, 2015
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Noach – Dominion after the Deluge

Listen to an audio version B’reishit offers us unique insights concerning humankind’s responsibility to be both sovereign and servants over creation, and the lessons that we might learn about compassion from our furry friends who are the “other white meat” on this planet. Some might be surprised to learn that this week’s parasha Noach...
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Tazria – Doctors of the Soul

April 15, 2015
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Tazria – Doctors of the Soul

Listen to an audio version The Kohen shall look at the affliction on the skin of the flesh: If the hair in the affliction has changed to white, and the affliction’s appearance is deeper than the skin of the flesh – it is a tzaras affliction; the Kohen shall look at it and declare...
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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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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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