Gam zu l’tovah -- even-this-is-for-the-good
November 29, 2018

Gam zu l’tovah — even-this-is-for-the-good

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— The teaching gam zu l’tovah/even-this-is-for-the-good emphasizes that there are things in the world that are nistar/hidden and nigleh/revealed. Often, we are experiencing something in its nistar state, passing judgment on it, and...


November 16, 2018

Everything cocooned must transform and emerge.

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Va’yeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3), follows Jacob on his journey away from home and hearth, and into his life as an independent adult. On the first night, he finds himself...


Standing at the Crossroads
November 09, 2018

Standing at the Crossroads

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Toledot (Genesis 25:19-28:9) begins with another of our Jewish ancestors’ struggles with fertility. But finally, after pleading with God, Isaac and Rebecca do conceive—with twins. “And the children...


We Want to Know Why
November 01, 2018

We Want to Know Why

“And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years: these were the years of Sarah’s life. And Sarah died in the-city-of-four-corners, also called Hebron, in the land of Canaan and Abraham...


The genderqueerness of our sacred forebears.
October 26, 2018

The genderqueerness of our sacred forebears.

Genesis 18:1-22:24 Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion includes the Akeida, the “Binding” of Isaac.  Here’s the basic set up: Abraham and Sarah have been on a spiritual quest with their family and posse....


Turn Our Mourning Into Dancing
October 12, 2018

Turn Our Mourning Into Dancing

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim, This week’s Torah portion, Noach (Genesis 6:9 - 11:32) is focused on the mythic account of a massive, worldwide, completely devastating flood. What makes this flood particularly terrible, aside from its widespread...


chochmat halev
October 04, 2018

Jhos’ Yom Kippur Drash

Gut Yontiff.  Jewish Tradition teaches that there are 50 gates of understanding. The first 49 are opened by our intellectual questioning and inquiry. But the 50th—the gate of heaven—requires a unique key: your heart.  Ten...


chochmat halev
October 02, 2018

Laura Goldman’s Yom Kippur Drash

This drash was written and delivered by Laura Goldman on Yom Kippur 5779. Good Yontif. You and I come to services on Yom Kippur for so many reasons, and all of them are good ones....


chochmat halev rosh Hashanah
October 02, 2018

Jhos’ Rosh Hashanah Drash

Tonight begins the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe, when people all over the world gather to engage Judaism’s wisdom tradition of Tshuvah, which, while it has no parallel English concept, is often translated as...


Celebrating abundance, preparing for scarcity
September 28, 2018

Celebrating abundance, preparing for scarcity

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim, Wow, I’m still bobbling around in the afterglow of the Days of Awe, stumbling in and out of random sukkot, and my olfactory nerves are pulsing with etrog’s intoxicating perfume.  Tis the...


jewish high holidays berkeley chochmat halev
September 14, 2018

Shedding the weight of our habits

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— It’s Shabbat Shuva this week, the Shabbat of turning, the first Shabbat of the new year, the Shabbat of facing, making, and accepting change. This time of year is set aside to...


chochmat halev svara
August 09, 2018

Teasing apart the sweet from the bitter

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17) begins with one of the great truths of life: “Look, today I am setting in front of you blessing and curse…..” Deut. 11:26 What else...


The fullness of your story
August 03, 2018

The fullness of your story

Julie and I are recently back from two weeks of vacation in the utterly glorious, sparsely populated, traffic free, and fecund Salt Spring Island, BC. Being away from our daily grind—relaxed and virtually stress free—we...


Fallen down with eyes wide open
June 29, 2018

Fallen down with eyes wide open

Maggid’s Musing  Balak  Numbers 22:2 - 25:9  2018 Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— It is amazing to me that though we read the same, exact, words every year from the same, exact section of the Torah in...


June 15, 2018

Your Unique Holiness

This week’s Torah portion, Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32) details the first of a series of organizational tests for Moses. It begins when Korach, a well-heeled Israelite whose pedigree places him in the priestly class, contests Moses...


chochmat halev
April 20, 2018

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...


The irreparable Temple where Divine Presence dwells
March 09, 2018

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...


Holy Haute Couture
February 23, 2018

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...


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