The most important commandment | Parashat Yitro

One of the most common and interesting “exercises” in contemporary religious education invites participants first to read and study the “Ten Commandments” or, as they are known in Hebrew, “Aseret Hadibrot” – “the ten utterances.” Once familiar with these ten statements, students brainstorm their own individual or collective “Ten Commandments for Our Time.”

Manna: miracle and lesson | Parashat Beshalach

In the chapter Bshalach we learn how God interrupts the natural order to establish relationship between divine and human. One of the ways of relationship, after the rescue at the sea from Pharaoh and Egyptians, was the Manna, which played the role of everyday food and certain lesson to the children of Israel.

Hope even in darkness | Parashat Bo

Although the winter solstice is behind us and the days are slowly getting a bit longer, we in the Northern Hemisphere, are still in the dark time of the year. Darkness – choshech–  is a common image in Torah and in our liturgy. In fact, in Torah there are 51 references for the word choshech […]

Naming the Unnameable | Parashat Va’era

To paraphrase Charles Dickens, Va’era is the most Jewish Parasha and the least Jewish Parasha. Why the least Jewish? Because, unlike some other religious traditions, Jews do not talk often or easily about G-d. We are not fundamentally constituted by our theology. But when we come to this Parasha, we cannot address it without talking […]

A Good Name | Parashat Shemot

Jewish genealogy is a particularly powerful tool that can help strengthen the Jewish people and our Jewish stories. I have heard of so many families reuniting especially post Shoa that didn’t know a branch had survived at all and they re-discovered one another because of Jewish genealogy, some sleuthing, and asking questions!

The Soul Bound up with Mine | Parashat Vayigash

How do we describe the relationship between parents and children? How do we refer to the bond that exists? This week in Vayigash, our Torah text gives us language that many might find compelling.

What is in a name? | Parashat Miketz

What is in a name? Depending upon who one decides to ask, a whole lot! When our parents choose our names for us, they select names that have meaning to them. Often the selection is in honor or memory of someone they love or the name is selected because in its meaning are values they hope that our lives will embody.

A coat of many traumas | Vayeshev

Who are you, and who do you want to be? What prevents you from being your truest self? What do you fear that holds you back from the life that you really want to lead? It is difficult to step up, to face tough struggles, and be our most authentic selves in a world filled with many complex challenges.

Who am I? | Vayishlach

Who are you, and who do you want to be? What prevents you from being your truest self? What do you fear that holds you back from the life that you really want to lead? It is difficult to step up, to face tough struggles, and be our most authentic selves in a world filled with many complex challenges.