The illusion of purity and everyday messy holiness
June 30, 2017

The illusion of purity and everyday messy holiness

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s Torah Portion, Chukat (Numbers 19:1-22:1) begins with what might be considered a Jewish koan, one of those pesky Zen riddles, statements, or paradoxes to be meditated upon in the hopes of...

Queer pioneers
June 16, 2017

Queer pioneers

Shabbat Shalom, Chaverim— I don’t think I could have chosen a better Torah portion for tonight’s Pride Shabbat than this week’s reading, Shelach L’cha. It describes the episode of Moses sending spies to go scope...

The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius
June 09, 2017

The Dawning of the Age of Aquarius

Shalom Chaverim— I was walking to the bus stop this morning and noticed a flyer tacked on a telephone pole proclaiming: “The Age of Pisces is Ending, The Age of Aquarius is Beginning!!” Having been...

chochmat halev
June 02, 2017

A blessing for you

A dizzying array of rituals, censuses, sacrifices and job descriptions fill this week’s Torah portion, Nasso (Numbers 4:21-7:89). And smack in the middle of the hurly burly is one whopper of a blessing: May God...

Approaching the Mountain of Wisdom on Shavuot
May 31, 2017

Approaching the Mountain of Wisdom on Shavuot

Shalom Chaverim— I’ve just returned from a few weeks in Israel. As usual, I was struck by all the swirling energy there—the love and the hatred, the idiocy and the intellect, the creativity and the...

Loving your neighbor as yourself
May 04, 2017

Loving your neighbor as yourself

Shalom Chaverim— This week’s parasha, Acharei Mot/Kiddushin, includes the enigmatic scriptural sound byte: V’ahavta l’reyacha k’mocha—And you will love your neighbor as your self.  You will find this tidbit in Leviticus 19:18, which in its...

April 27, 2017

Giving ourselves permission

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Shabbat is such a gift—and yet it’s quite difficult to accept.  To take one day off—to step away from judgment and fear, resentment and animosity, ego and malice—would seem a delicious invitation. ...

A new set of questions this Passover
April 20, 2017

A new set of questions this Passover

Shabbat Shalom Chaverim— Once again, Passover has passed over leaving in its wake memories of its annual Gastro-symbolic rites, its cobbled together trajectory tale, its multilayered ceremony and sanctimony spanning centuries, its haggadah stitching together...

December 07, 2016

Vayetze – God is in that place too

Shalom chaverim— This week’s Torah Portion is “Vayetze” which details the story of Jacob’s hasty departure from his parental homestead. He basically creates a situation with his family that forces him to skedaddle, and the first...

November 30, 2016

Tshuvah – from ignorant surety to brilliant doubt

Shalom chaverim— This week’s Torah portion is Toldot—it basically describes the fertility struggles of Isaac and Rebecca, the eventual birth of their twin boys, Jacob and Esau and their clumsy family life. In some ways...

November 09, 2016

Lech L’cha /go to yourself in these difficult times

Shalom chaverim— Yesterday the United States of America voted in President Donald J. Trump. Most of the people I know are utterly despondent about this fact.  Honestly, I’m not all that surprised.  Miserable, yes, but not...