You First – Parshat Korach 5782

Why have we kept the "redemption of the firstborn," a ritual called Pidyon HaBen in Jewish tradition? Perhaps less than a financial necessity, it’s to mark the moment a parent fully recognizes the responsibility and honor of being a parent. Raising a child is certainly costly, but as parents know, being a parent is not about the expense, but the gift of love, learning, and growth of experiencing many firsts together.

The Rest of Your Life – Parshat Shlach Lecha 5782

I like to be busy, whether it’s reading a book, going on a walk, or even just texting a friend. Idle time is not my favorite, so I’m not the best when I’m supposed to be resting to recover from an ailment or when we lose power and it’s pouring rain. This is also why I sometimes struggle with Shabbat.

The Future Is Here

Before I begin my formal comments, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer a special thank you to Glen for his service as our president over the past two years. It has been a pleasure partnering with you, Glen; your positive outlook was especially valuable as we navigated our community through the pandemic.

Memory For All Time – Parshat Beha’alotcha

If you try to glean something from an experience after the experience is over, you might miss quite a bit. We’re not quite out of the pandemic, but hopefully far from the height of it. This is the time to remember the lessons we’ve learned and make some habits permanent.

God’s Face Shone Upon Her

In this week’s Torah reading, we encounter the birkat kohanim, the priestly benediction. I have a deep love for this blessing. Some of that stems from its antiquity: archaeology brought to life a very ancient amulet upon which were inscribed the words of the blessing, rendered here in English: May God Bless you and watch over you. May God make God’s face to shine on you and to be gracious to you. May God lift up God’s face to you and give you peace.

You Shall Not Murder

Tomorrow night the holiday of Shavuot begins. Shavuot commemorates matan Torah, the day on which God gave the Torah to the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai. The mountain shook and thundered while the people heard the sights and saw the sounds. The term for this is synesthesia, when one sense is perceived through another. We now know that two to four percent of people are synesthetes, individuals who regularly have this sort of sensory experience.