My House, My Rules – Parshat Behar 5779

The land of Israel belongs to God, the earth as a whole is a creation of God, and we are instructed to take care of this precious gift on loan to us. You could think of this as “God’s house, God’s rules.” The rules don’t always make sense, and some of them may need adapting over time, but they were put into place for a reason.

When Freedom of Religion is Under Attack

This past week, our nation watched as the Alabama senate passed, and its governor ratified, a highly restrictive law that effectively criminalizes abortion. Regardless of whether one is in favor of abortion or believes such procedures should be banned, the decision ought to stun anyone who cares about the rule of law.

The Gathering Place – Parshat Emor 5779

Our modern-day synagogues have replaced the ancient Temple in Jerusalem as gathering places, and I would argue the local coffee shop of my youth played a similar role. These moments served to bring people together, and the Torah suggests that in doing so, we create a deeper, richer, more balanced Jewish life for ourselves.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

What a week. Last Saturday afternoon, I was basking in the late afternoon sun, seated on the stone wall in from of our flowering kale. What clouds were about were full of drama and dimension. It was a fitting way to recharge after the Yizkor memorial service earlier in the day. Commemorating those who are no longer with us is touching and deeply humanizing.

Body Piercing vs. Body Image – Parshat Kedoshim 5779

When it came to body piercing (and ear piercing), my dad’s argument had always been that the Torah says we don’t pierce or permanently change our bodies. However, the takeaway from Parshat Kedoshim is really how the Torah reminds us of the importance of positive body image.

From Yizkor To Yizkor

What a week. Last Saturday afternoon, I was basking in the late afternoon sun, seated on the stone wall in from of our flowering kale. What clouds were about were full of drama and dimension. It was a fitting way to recharge after the Yizkor memorial service earlier in the day. Commemorating those who are no longer with us is touching and deeply humanizing.

One for Me, One for You – Parshat Acharei Mot 5779

Kids grasp the idea of fairness (and unfairness) early on. Toys, food, time - if any of it isn't perfectly equal, they will let you know. We learn in our parshah this week about balance. In other words, what we give to our own earthly desires, like time, money and energy, we should also give equally in service to God, or our faith-based life.