The Forbearance We Need As We Reconnect | Parashat Miketz

At this holiday season, we are all eager, maybe more than ever before, to be able to gather with our loved ones. After an extended and ongoing world heath crisis, during which many of us have had to forgo family and other gatherings, we are desperate to reconnect and celebrate our times of light and joy together.

Making Circles, Finding Stillness | Parashat Vayeshev

The time has come to teach the communities in which we have congregations what Reform Judaism provides them for their Jewish survival. This week’s Torah portion still teaches us about our defining principles: that our struggle with the past and then taking the risks of transformative change is how we became Israel, a community with a destiny of freedom and hope.

Reform Judaism: a Movement worth the Struggle | Parashat Vayishlach

The time has come to teach the communities in which we have congregations what Reform Judaism provides them for their Jewish survival. This week’s Torah portion still teaches us about our defining principles: that our struggle with the past and then taking the risks of transformative change is how we became Israel, a community with a destiny of freedom and hope.

Between a Rock and a Holy Place | Parashat Vayetze

The word Vayetze, the first word of our Parasha, means to leave. But Rashi notices that the Torah does not use the word Vayelech, a word with a similar meaning, which it used to describe Abraham’s journey. As Rashi notes, Vayelech means to leave with one’s possessions and with great honor; Vayetze means to flee, taking nothing with you. Jacob fled for his life.

If angry, even God will not deal with justice | Parashat Vayera

Resh Lakish once stated: “Any person who becomes angry, if he is a scholar, his wisdom departs from him; if he is a prophet, his prophecy departs from him.” After him, Rabbi Mani bar Patish said: “Whoever becomes angry, even if greatness has been apportioned to him from Heaven, he is lowered (from his greatness).” (Bavli, Pesachim 66b)

Four Steps on the Path of Lech L’cha | Parashat Lech Lecha

There is so much in this sedra, Lech L’cha, it is breathtaking. We are so familiar with it –especially the very first part — that it is hard for us to even take it all in. Perhaps we should disaggregate it. We can read it through four lenses.

Is Anyone Willing to Listen? | Parashat Noach

In the story of Noah, we learn about the capacity of human beings to commit evil and its consequences. Given freedom, human beings often use it unwisely. This story is an enlightening introduction as to why the Torah affirms that laws are necessary to create a coherent, civil society.

What’s the Point? Parashat Bereshit

Here we go again…reading the same old Torah from the start with Parashat B’reshit. Haven’t we been here before? Don’t we know how it ends?  Who can see the point in it? Honestly, if you’ve looked closely at a Torah, you know there is no point. No one can see any point in it, because the Torah scrolls we read have no “points” (know in Hebrew as nikudot).