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Archive: January 2021

Shemot: Fear and Moral Courage

Posted on January 8, 2021

  January 8, 2021 This week’s d’var Torah on parashat Shemot. On a conference call on Wednesday morning, my colleague Rabbi Heather Miller gave a wonderful d’var Torah on the concept of fear in this week’s Torah portion, Shemot. Anxious about the Georgia runoffs and the certification of the electoral college vote, I knew I’d be Continue Reading »

Have Faith and Fill Your Storehouses

Posted on December 18, 2020

  December 18, 2020 This week’s d’var Torah on parashat Miketz. This week’s Torah portion, Miketz, is the stuff of dreams, nightmares, and Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals. It isn’t typically a narrative with which we identify personally. But reading it at the end of a difficult year, anticipating the arrival of a new administration, and cautiously Continue Reading »

Even When We Are Limping

Posted on December 4, 2020

December 4, 2020 This week’s d’var Torah on Vayishlach. Last week, we learned the origin of one of our people’s names: the words Jew, Jewish, and Judaism come from the name of Jacob’s fourth son: Judah, or Yehudah, meaning “to give thanks.” This week, we learn the origin of another one of our people’s names, Continue Reading »

Grieve and Give Thanks: Thanksgiving 2020

Posted on November 27, 2020

  November 27, 2020 Tonight’s d’var Torah on parshat Vayetze. It often happens that this Torah, Vayetze, portion falls on the Shabbat after Thanksgiving. It’s a nice pairing, because here we learn that the very origin of the Hebrew word for Jew, Yehudah, is giving thanks. This was the name of the fourth son Leah Continue Reading »

In A Place Where There Is No Humanity, Let Us Strive To Be Human

Posted on November 6, 2020

  November 6 2020 This week’s drash on parashat Vayera. One of the reasons I love creating midrash—interpretive stories based on the narratives of the Torah—is because it gives us the opportunity to look for the places where we might see ourselves. Ancient and foreign as its ideas can be sometimes, the Torah can often provide Continue Reading »

Living with Uncertainty on the Eve of the Election

Posted on October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020 This week’s d’var Torah on parashat Lech Lecha. We are nearing the end of one of the most contentious election seasons of our lifetime, and while many congregations across the country might be hearing sermons about the importance of civic engagement, here that feels redundant. It feels more necessary to address the Continue Reading »

What Are We Building? – Yom Kippur

Posted on September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020 Watch recording on our YouTube channel The Talmud tells us that, in the middle of writing the Torah, Moses asks God to take a break and show him the future. God obliges, taking Moses forward a thousand years and placing him in the back of Rabbi Akiva’s classroom. They are talking about Continue Reading »

My Father’s Words of Wisdom – Kol Nidre

Posted on September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020 Watch recording on our YouTube channel Last year, as we read about being inscribed in the Book of Life, my family prayed that we would get one more year with my father. As you know, we lost him the week before Thanksgiving. It’s been ten months, and most days, I still don’t Continue Reading »

Abraham and Moral Leadership – Rosh Hashana

Posted on September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020 Watch recording on our YouTube channel In the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashana, I like to ask people to share their questions about the texts we read on the High Holy Days. Without a doubt, the one that causes us the most trouble is the Binding of Isaac, which we read Continue Reading »

Breaking the Chandelier – erev Rosh Hashana

Posted on September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020 Watch recording on our YouTube channel According to the mystics, the world began with a shattering. In the book of Genesis, the world’s birth is portrayed as a gentle unfolding: a series of peaceful separations, the intimate animation of clay from earth’s four corners by God’s own breath. But in the 16th Continue Reading »