The Beauty of Pride Is More Than Skin Deep

This past Wednesday, Israel360 partnered with our local Hillel to bring Ashager Araro to our community for an engaging and powerful presentation. Ashager is a second-generation Ethiopian-Israeli. Her talk covered many topics. A number of things stood out to me. One was her community’s deep-seated desire to return to Israel from Ethiopia, a country the Beta Yisrael (the name by which Ethiopian Jews self-identify) had lived in for 1500 years.

Dancing with Desire

There’s a classic joke about a rabbi on vacation in France. Far away from congregants, the rabbi orders a roast suckling pig with all the garnishes—potatoes, vegetables, the apple in the mouth, all on a bed of kale—the full works. Just as the loaded-down platter arrives, the president of the synagogue appears as though from nowhere and is completely shocked. “Rabbi, what are you doing!?” Thinking quickly, the rabbi exclaims, “Oy, what a crazy country, I ordered a baked apple, and this is how they serve it!”

Pictures in a Box

In the continuing saga of emptying my mother’s house, two large cardboard boxes arrived at my house. Each carton was approximately three feet by three feet. Inside were thousands of 35-millimeter slides that my father shot over the years. As part of my siblings’ divide and conquer approach to the old family homestead, it fell upon me to get all of these slides digitized, and thankfully, Portland still has a couple of places for this sort of work.

Some Opportunities

Sight. Whether we are talking literally or metaphorically, sight is precious. None of us want to be blindsided, even as we all wear blinders. We seek insight to our problems and greater clarity to how we see the world and others. Heck, in the most mundane example, many of us who wear glasses have tried to keep our lenses clear of mist while wearing masks. Good vision is precious.

Remembering the Spider Man

It is late September. While Simchat Torah is upon us, the larger thrust of the Jewish High Holiday cycle is behind us, and with it there is a risk that all the energy and spiritual insights we gained can be forgotten. Nonetheless, we all feel how essential it is to recharge, refocus, and recommit--and not just during the High Holidays. If not, we may find ourselves spinning in place and rehashing what was.

Lessons on Motivation in Ha’azinu and the Torah

In between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I found myself making four different dinners one evening. I wanted to make sure that there was something my father-in-law, my two boys, and I could all eat. (Laura was busy with clients and told us to eat on our own.) Sometimes it is possible to stumble upon one dish that satisfies all of us, but that is rare. My chef training allowed me to pull off this variety in relatively short order, but still…four different dinners?

High Holy Days Sermons 5782

  Rosh Hashanah   Erev Rosh Hashanah 5782 – September 6, 2021 Rabbi David Kosak, When Loss Renews Itself as Hope – Text   Rosh Hashanah 5782 (Day 1) – September 7, 2021 Rabbi David Kosak, Truing the Wellness Wheel: Finding Shleimut in a Broken World  – Text     Rosh Hashanah 5782 (Day 1) – September 7, 2021 Rabbi Eve Posen, Shehechiyanu  – Text   Watch on Video:    Yom Kippur Erev Yom Kippur ... Read More