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Jewish Journeys: Imperceptible Motion, Monumental Movement

photo credit: simonsterg We are all on a journey, whether we know it or not. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to notice that we are moving, until we look back: It’s a Saturday morning in March, 2011. I’m standing outside my new home – where lights had been carefully set the night before and will remain unchanged all day –  while my wife locks the door before we enjoy the... read more

Shabbat Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1)

RedBull, it gives you wings! Or in the case of the portion this week, the ability to enter The Temple after coming into contact with a corpse. The Red Heiffer is just one of the items that is difficult (if not downright impossible) to get a hold of these days. In the blink of an eye, 38 years pass in the Torah narrative – time that we can never get back or find out about. Miriam dies, and her... read more

What Gives Me the Right?

I offer a lot of opinions on this blog (I think “opinions” and “blog” are almost synonymous). And a lot of the time, I stress out about it. Not just about whether I have my facts straight, or that what I’m saying deserves to be said. I stress about how anyone could believe I have a right to spout off on Torah, Talmud, Judaism, etc? A friend of mine has refused to attend our... read more

Shabbat Korach (Numbers 16:1 – 18:32)

Good old Korach. Such a joker. The Israelites have screwed up bigtime – they lost faith at the border of Canaan and have been doomed to wander until the entire generation of slaves has died out. Not only that, but some folks thought they could push the issue, and tried to take Canaan by force (and without Moses or God on their side. Not a good idea!). The results were as tragic as they were... read more

Why Weren’t You More Like…

A classic story tells about the great Chassidic Rabbi Zusha, who was found agitated and upset as he lay on deathbed. His students asked, “Rebbe, why are you so sad? After all the the great things you have accomplished, your place in heaven is assured!” “I’m afraid!” Zusha replied, “Because when I get to heaven, God won’t ask me ‘Why weren’t you more... read more

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