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Archive: April 2021

Beware of “Back to Normal”

Posted on April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021 This week’s drash for Shabbat Pesach. On Shabbat Pesach, we suspend the regular weekly Torah reading cycle in order to retell the climax of the Exodus story, the joyous song we sang when we passed through the parted Red Sea into freedom. When we read this passage, and the chapters that surround Continue Reading »

The High Priest’s Garments and Amanda Gorman’s Coat

Posted on February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021 This week’s d’var Torah on parashat Tetzaveh. Some of you know that one of my outlets during the pandemic has been online thrift shopping, and this week, I had a particularly good find: a bright yellow wool peacoat. This isn’t something I would have bought a year ago, or even six weeks Continue Reading »

Fragility and Fear in the Purim Story

Posted on February 19, 2021

February 19, 2021 This week’s drash on Parashat Terumah, but mostly on the Purim Story. Over the last few weeks, you’ve heard me talk quite a bit about the Purim story, particularly about Queen Vashti’s bold refusal to appear before the king. But tonight, as Purim approaches, we should probably talk about King Ahashuerus. King A. Continue Reading »

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 »