Chochmat Ha’Blog

chochmat halev

The wholeness of the wounded

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week we have a double portion: Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1 – 15:33).  And what a doozy it is!!  It has to do with the impact of skin diseases, contaminated clothing, leprous houses (no joke), seminal emissions, and menstrual discharge. Lucky kid who gets this as their...


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The irreparable Temple where Divine Presence dwells

The irreparable Temple where Divine Presence dwells

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— The feature story on the front page of this week’s Sunday New York Times was a wrenchingly beautiful and agonizing piece by Benjamin Weiser called “Nakesha’s Demons.” Mr. Weiser chronicles the descent of Nakesha, a young, bright, promising, talented, and wicked-smart woman into the abyss of...


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Holy Haute Couture

Holy Haute Couture

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10), comes just in time for the closing ceremonies of the Olympics. As the bespangled, multi-colored, wildly tailored uniforms announce to the world the national identity and prowess of each team, Jewish communities around the world are reading...


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hearts that are moved

hearts that are moved

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19) contains one of Judaism’s most consistent and widespread practices. It is something that every branch and leaf of organizational Judaism shares, evolves, and tries to master. It crosses all denominations, philosophies, eras, and locations. It is universally engaged and...


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When God meets us halfway

When God meets us halfway

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim, One of the less savory fixations in Jewish culture is the notion that there is an “authentic” Jewish life, practice, or knowledge. The dominant attitude has been that anyone wearing a black furry hat, silken coat, breeches and a long beard is more “authentic” than anyone...


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chochmat halev

Mature justice

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— When I was a child I lived in an apartment on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. I was part of a semi-feral bevy of beach-rat kids. We were mostly boys, all about the same age, and pretty scrappy. All but one of our families were working class...


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