Author Archives: Jhos Singer



Jhos Singer

Food, Faith, and Freedom
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Food, Faith, and Freedom

Shalom Chaverim, This week’s Torah portion, Beha’alotecha (Numbers 8:1 - 12:16) includes a painfully accurate observation on human nature: The riffraff amongst them were beset with a craving, and the Israelites joined them weeping, and said, “Who will...

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June 19, 2019
Be A Blessing And Be Blessed
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Be A Blessing And Be Blessed

Shalom Chaverim, This week’s parasha, Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89), contains the Priestly Blessing, one of the most familiar and beloved pieces of our liturgy. In traditional settings, the service leader chants the blessing during the repetition...

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June 11, 2019
We're gonna tell it again…
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We’re gonna tell it again…

Shalom Chaverim— A few weeks ago Julie and I were blessed to be celebrating our daughter’s graduation from college. It was the first time in a few years that we were able to be together...

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June 05, 2019
Spiritual and Religious?
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Spiritual and Religious?

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Bechokotai (Leviticus 26:3-27:34) closes the book of Leviticus, thus ending the long stretch of instructions to and about indigenous Judaism’s most elite class, the kohanim or priests. The priesthood...

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May 29, 2019
The Kids Are Alright
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The Kids Are Alright

Parshat Emor (Leviticus 21:1 - 24:23) Shalom Chaverim— About a decade ago I was coaching kids in the Coastside Jewish Community’s b’mitzvah program on drash writing. To be perfectly honest, I’m a terrible coach. I...

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May 14, 2019
Love Yourself, Love Your Neighbor
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Love Yourself, Love Your Neighbor

Shalom Chaverim— Earlier today I was lying on my massage therapist’s table, involuntarily yelping as my ligament, tendons, and muscles were being pulled, stretched, and torqued by expert hands and feet. At each discovery of...

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May 07, 2019
Life After Death
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Life After Death

Shalom Chaverim, This week’s parasha, Acharei Mot (Leviticus 16:1 - 18:30), begins with the following crushing and enigmatic words: “And The Mysterious One spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron,...

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May 01, 2019
Are You What You Eat?
in B'nai Mitzvah

Are You What You Eat?

Shalom Chaverim - Passover is upon us, with all of its gustatory restrictions, creativity, and nostalgia. I wrote my Master’s thesis in Jewish Studies on the particular power found in the unlikely tasting profile of...

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April 24, 2019
The Undeniable Impermanence
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The Undeniable Impermanence

Shalom Chaverim, As I began to write this musing, the spire of Notre Dame had just fallen in a flamboyant descent, the familiar landmark transforming before my eyes. Moments later, I discovered that the Al...

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April 16, 2019
A Metaphor for the Human Condition
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A Metaphor for the Human Condition

Shalom Chaverim— I just returned from leading the JCCSF annual Staff Israel Seminar. This year was a two-week marathon—each day we covered a whiplash-inducing spectrum of ideas and ideologies, people and places, beliefs, and visions....

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April 10, 2019
An Elevated and Intimate Space
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An Elevated and Intimate Space

Shalom Chaverim— The work of redemption is hard, relentless, time-consuming, and costly.  Whether we are talking about mistakes or accidents, intentional behavior or inadvertent acts—when we have caused disruption in our community, it requires tikkun, a...

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March 19, 2019
Biblical Blueprint for Holy Community
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Biblical Blueprint for Holy Community

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s parasha, Pekudei (Exodus 38:21-40:38), closes the long stretch of Biblical blueprints and plans for the Mishkhan, which can be understood as God’s dwelling on earth and/or our place to form holy...

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March 06, 2019
Everyone Whose Heart Was Stirred
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Everyone Whose Heart Was Stirred

Shalom, Chaverim— Fair warning: Once again, this week’s musing is a biblically inspired pitch, not entirely unlike like last week’s teaching which, due to technical difficulties, wasn’t widely read. That said, I could have written...

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February 27, 2019
Creating a Spectacular Mishkan
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Creating a Spectacular Mishkan

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— Fair warning: this is going to be a Biblically-inspired pitch! Following another long description of what will be needed to create a spectacular mishkan, or community ritual space, this week’s Torah portion,...

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February 19, 2019
Make for Me a Sacred Place
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Make for Me a Sacred Place

Terumah 2019 I dedicate this Musing to the memory of our friend, teacher, and Chochmat HaLev member, Shaykh Dr. Ibrahim Baba Farajeje Shalom Chaverim— Julie and I just are back from a whirlwind trip to...

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February 06, 2019
Where is our strength hiding?
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Where is our strength hiding?

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Beshallach (Exodus 13:17-17:16) includes perhaps the most well known and dramatic moments of all biblical narratives—the parting of the Sea of Reeds. The moment is supremely anxious: the fleeing...

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January 16, 2019
Delicious and devastating life on Earth
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Delicious and devastating life on Earth

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s parasha, Bo (Exodus 10:10-13:16), closes out the famous Ten Plagues episode, which leads us to the liberation of the Israelites from slavery. The final plague, “Death of the Egyptians’ Firstborn,” saturates...

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January 09, 2019
Lost from our own hearts
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Lost from our own hearts

Shalom, Chaverim— We are in plague-land, my friends. Parashat Va’eira (Exodus 6:2-9:35) focuses almost exclusively on the first seven of the ten plagues: Blood, Frogs, Lice, Wild Animals, Cattle Disease, Boils, and Hail. The text...

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January 02, 2019
The Jewish Superpower
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The Jewish Superpower

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah portion, Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1), launches us into a new reality (biblically) and a new year (in reality).  Our reading sets into motion the series of fortunate and unfortunate events that...

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December 26, 2018