Shabbat Nitzavim / Vayaylech (Deut. 29:9-30:20 / 31:1-31-30)

Our Torah cycle and our year is drawing to a close, and like many people in the twilight of a cycle of time (whether it’s a year, a life or tv series), Moses reflects on a happier time, a time when the world was full of possibilities. Back to Mt. Sinai we go, when we received the 10 commandments and for one amazing moment everyone heard the voice of God. At that moment, we offered our children as... read more

Shabbat Ki Tavo (Deut. 26:1-29:8)

In subtle support of the month of Elul in which we read this portion, Torah offers thoughts which allow for self-reflection, corrective action, and a return to our roots. Moses gives instructions how the Israelites should mark our entrance to the Land, how offerings and tithes are meant to support not just the religious framework of society (the Levites) but also the disadvantaged. The tribes go up... read more

Israel Diary: What I Got On My Summer Vacation

It may not have been clear from this post or this one, but I’ve been on an extended vacation in Israel. It’s my first time here (along with everyone in my family except my oldest daughter) and it has been awesome, magnificent and transformative. While I have a great deal to write about, both for this blog and the one dedicated to kosher food ideas, I am posting an “ending” thought... read more

Shabbat Ki Taytzay (Deut. 21:10-25:19)

This week Moses continues his detailing of the laws, and one caught my eye this year: (21:15-17) If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him sons, but the first-born is the son of the unloved one — when he wills his property to his sons, he may not treat as first-born the son of the loved one in disregard of the son of the unloved one who is... read more

Israel Diary: Between a Rock and a Hard Place – part 1

Two days after coming to Israel we finally made the 20 minute walk down to that place which had, from the moment of my arrival, sat ever present in my consciousness. the one site that is on everyone’s “ToDo” list when they come to Israel. The image used more than any other (at least in the USA) when the news runs some report about “Israel”. THE place. The Western wall.... read more

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