15 Oct 2015

Noah 5776: Weathering the Storm “The effort to combat psychotic prejudice with reasonable counter-arguments is an act not only of folly, but of capitulation.” —David Mamet…

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09 Oct 2015

Bereshit 5776: Divine Earth “Earth, my dearest, oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over…Unspeakably, I have belonged to you, from the flush.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke My father told me that when NASA had planned to land on the moon, his rabbi had…

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02 Jan 2015

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson As we close the book of Bereshit this week, we come to the end of the life of Yaakob our forefather. From his deathbed, he blesses his…

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26 Dec 2014

 “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” — John F. Kennedy The awkwardness of engaging with those whom we do not share a like-mind and vision is among the greatest challenges of humanity. Most of us simply avoid…

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18 Dec 2014

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. — Eleanor Roosevelt The beauty and significance of Hanuka is often eclipsed by the famous eight-day miracle of the oil. By focusing on the miracle, we fail to focus on what led up to the miracle and the…

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12 Dec 2014

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in…

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05 Dec 2014

“And Yaakob was left alone — and a man wrestled with him until the coming up of dawn…when he saw that he could not prevail against him…he said to him ‘What is your name? And he said Yaakob. Then he said: Not as Yaakob shall your name be uttered,…

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28 Nov 2014

The dream that Yaakob has at the opening of this week’s parasha presents him with a vision of the the world that deeply affects him. In his dream he sees a stairway set upon the ground, that reaches up to the heavens. He sees that there is traffic running…

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21 Nov 2014

In Perashat Toledot we read of the birth of our forefather Yaakob and his twin brother Esav. Theirs is a complex relationship filled with strife and difficulty. The strife runs deep and actually begins in utero: The children almost crushed one another inside her… (25:22)  It seems though, that…

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14 Nov 2014

Rav Aha said, “The discussion of the servants of the forefathers is more beautiful than the torah of their children”.  If word count is an indicator, it would seem that the discussion of the servant is quite important indeed. 25 verses in this parasha are dedicated to the dialogue…

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