Snowball’s Chance – Parshat Behar-Bechukotai 5781

It’s the snowball effect, not the snow itself, that I’m reminded of in this week’s Torah portion. Whether it’s a global pandemic or a cycle of systemic oppression, when enough “snow” builds up and starts rolling away from us, it can quickly get out of hand. Like a snowball, problems are easier to control when they’re manageable in size.

Soup or Salad

If you had to pick a food metaphor to define humans, and your only choices were soup or salad (or maybe a plate of raw vegetables), which would you pick? Are we more like a soup or more like a salad?

Off On a Tangent – Parshat Emor 5781

As somewhat of a tangential thinker, I can totally relate to this week's Torah portion, in which a seemingly random verse pops up in the middle of the text. But as we learn week after week, the Torah typically draws purposeful connections, even if they aren't always clear right away.

Save a Life, Save a World

JoAnn Bezodis is a long-time member of our community and a member of our staff; she also has a granddaughter who needs our help. One of twin girls, Jojo was born prematurely with “multiple serious genetic anomalies.” Her diagnosis and prognosis are presented below.

You Are the Tradition – Parshat Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5781

While Hanukkah is a long way off, a Mishnah that I love to teach about Hanukkah comes to mind as I read this week’s Torah portions. Hillel and Shammai, the great rabbinic sparring partners, have a debate about how to light the candles. This debate is about more than a ritual because the candles represent something bigger than just glowing light.

Staying Strong – Parshat Tazria-Metzora 5781

I’m sure you’ve heard the message in one form or another: just because you’re vaccinated does not necessarily make it safe to return to life as we knew it in 2019. As Jews, this is familiar territory. From laws of kashrut to ritual hand washing to visits to the mikveh, Jewish ritual practice brings an awareness of our physical selves, the world that surrounds us, and the connection between the two.