Shabbat Nasso (Numbers 4:21 – 7:89) 6/6/2009 Welcome to Parashat Naso! Come right in and watch your step. On the right side of the Torah you’ll notice the longest single parshat. That’s right folks, 176 verses of wilderness fun! Moving ahead to our first stop, there is the ever popular census taking. This time the Levite tribes are counted, divvied up, and counted again!... read more

Journey: A note before you return

This is an email I wrote my daughter before she returned from Israel. She spent an entire semester there as part of the NFTY EIE program You can read more of her thoughts (and my responses) on Heather’s blog. Prelude The Kabalists tell us the story of creation through their mystical lens: Hashem, infused in every molecule spinning inside each atom and neutrino. The first act of creation was to make... read more

Shabbat Shavuot 5/30/2009

(Deut. 14:22-16:17 & Num. 28:26-28:31) This week Shabbat falls during Shavuot, which means there is a special reading instead of our regularly scheduled portion. The reading begins with instructions to the Israelites that each year they should bring one tenth of their bounty (harvest or livestock), the best of what they produced,... read more

D'var Bamidbar 2008

I stuck it in a light socket. 5 times. In a row. Now that I have your attention… The episode I’m speaking about occurred just after my 13th birthday. With some of my Bar Mitzvah money, I had gotten one of those soda-pop-can light thingies, complete with the black light bulb with the flickering filament. It was awesome. For about 10 minutes, and then I got bored and curious. One thing led to... read more

Shabbat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1 – 4:20) Chazak, chazak… we have left Leviticus behind us and begin the rebellious tale of the Israelites as they travel (lost, perhaps) bamidbar – in, through and from the wilderness. In Bamidbar – the portion, not the book – we are told how to make holiness portable. We double wrap it – first in cloth, then in leather. The cloth –... read more

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