A Failure of Imagination: Reflecting on Christchurch

Rabbi Kosak reflects on the terrible massacre of two Muslim communities in New Zealand, explores the origins of hatred and how we can overcome it, and invites people to attend a gathering and vigil at the Muslim Educational Trust, today at 2 pm. Details at the bottom of this Oasis Songs.

From “To Do” to “Done” – Parshat Vayikra 5779

I just returned from D.C. for the culmination of my advocacy fellowship, and this week's parshah really spoke to my apprehensiveness about this adventure. In essence, we learn that we are responsible not only for the things we do wrong, but for the things we should have done, but neglected. Our Torah reminds us that when we have the ability to make a change in ourselves or the world, we must take that action.

The Question of Antisemitisms: Crowdsourcing an Answer

One would have needed to turn actively away from the news to avoid the fracas over newly elected representative, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Congresswoman Omar has found herself in a maelstrom of critique over a number of her comments, which are evocative of traditional anti-semitic stereotypes that have long been used to justify oppression and hatred of Jews.

Beginnings and Endings – Parshat Pekudei 5779

Beginning and endings. Sometimes they mirror each other and all seven days are hectic; other times the week begins in a roar and ends with peacefulness. As we end the Book of Exodus, the Israelite nation is strong, vibrant, and prepared. There will be chaos ahead, but under the guidance of God and leadership from the community, they will go from strength to strength.

What Mystical Theology Teaches Us About Politics and Relationships

Israel will hold new elections on April 9th, and it promises to be one of the most interesting and potentially important referendums there in quite some time. Some new variables are the reason for this. The Israeli attorney general, after a year long investigation by the police, is moving forward with corruption charges against Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

This Old Mishkan – Parshat Vayakhel 5779

While undergoing a house remodel a year ago, I found myself enthralled with the way things were taken apart and put back together. As we read Parshat Vayakhel, we are reminded that just as there are so many little bits and pieces that go into creating a structure, there are so many different individual people that go into creating the Jewish people.

Report from the Streets and the Flattery of Imitation

This is our third year running our Soup to the Streets program, originally called Guerrilla Compassion (Next month we will wrap up our services until Autumn 2020.). For three years, people have gathered in my home as we made a few hundred sandwiches and simmered ten gallons of soup. Over that time, we have distributed thousands of meals to our city’s unhoused one sandwich and one cup of a soup at a time.