Shabbat Terumah (Exodus 25:1 – 27:19)

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free, ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight. When true simplicity is gain’d, To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d, To turn, turn will be our delight, Till by turning, turning we come out right. – Shaker song, penned by Elder Joseph Bracket in... read more

Shabbat Mishpatim (Ex. 21:1-24:18)

Parasha Mishpatim continues the idea of forging a moral people out of the slaves who have left Egypt. Laws concerning slaves (who’da thunk? The slaves gots slaves?), what to do with misbehaving oxen, kosher laws and (as a parent) my all time favorite: “And he that insults his father or his mother, is to be put-to-death, yes, death.” As mentioned, this portion has the first appearance of the statement “you... read more

If Your Ox is Known to Gore

A week after we read the 10 commandments, we read Parshat Mishpatim which seems to spell out many details that the “big 10” may have glossed over. One of those details reads like this: If, however, that ox has been in the habit of goring, and its owner, though warned, has failed to guard it, and it kills a man or a woman — the ox shall be stoned and its owner, too, shall be put to death.... read more

Grover Teaches Tu B’Shevat

A while back I posted about how Grover, that cuddly furry loveable guy, still had the chutzpa to ask big questions. Now, just in time for Tu B’Shevat, I find out he’s all over this holiday which is great, if you are in Israel, but makes no sense if you are experiencing below-zero weather (as I am). “Grover Plants a Tree” is part of the “Shalom Sesame” video series which... read more

Standing In the Middle

For over 10 years now, my professional email has ended with this quote “Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” – Galileo Galilei I’m a computer geek by trade, and this suits my job description nicely. A large part of what I do hinges on my ability to find small bits of data, combine them so that they are less like a stack of numbers and more like... read more

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