Hydration Station – Parshat Chukat 5784

Water isn’t just a resource we need to live; it plays an important role in Jewish tradition beyond ensuring that living things can thrive. From the water used in ritual hand washing to the mikveh to tahara, the ritual washing of a body after death, water can transform from the inside out and the outside in. And this is no more evident than in our Torah portion for this week. 

Don’t Shoot the Messenger – Parshat Korach 5784

While it may have felt cathartic for Moses, it was likely unhelpful for the angry Israelites to see their leader lose control. I can sympathize with both sides. Leaders often have heavy loads to bear, and every decision can’t be a perfect one. The lesson? Kindness and understanding is the winning combo, whether you’re in charge or not.

What Could’ve Been – Parshat Shlach Lecha 5784

What we learn from Shlach Lecha is that reflective practice is healthy when we’re looking back in order to find a stronger, more sustainable path forward. Nevertheless, this is a stern warning from God that “should-ing” on ourselves can be counterproductive. Instead, we must send ourselves, shlach lecha, into the future with the strength of experience, knowing what our past has taught us. 

A Fence Around a Fence – Parshat Naso 5784

When we moved to Portland from Dallas, we went from a single-story house to a house with stairs. We spent so much time trying to figure out how to babyproof for this new situation. How much of this preparation was necessary for safety and how much was for our own peace of mind? At what point are we building baby gates around baby gates?

It’s An Honor – Parshat Bamidbar 5784

The act of serving God cannot be honorary; it must be done with the fullness of heart and soul. To this day, Jewish tradition is filled with ritual actions rather than prayer alone. It’s through fulfilling these traditions that we find purpose in what we do and what we believe. 

Nickel and Dime – Parshat Bechukotai 5784

Money of course means much more than coins and paper. The math is the easy part, even without a lot of change on hand to demonstrate. What is much more difficult to understand when it comes to money are the ways in which those nickels and dimes add up to salaries for work and the value of things. And this conversation is as old as the Torah.