Pikudei (Ex. 35:1-38:20)

When Moses had finished the work, the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud had settled upon it and the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. When the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the Israelites would set out, on their various journeys; but if the cloud did not lift, they would not set... read more

Holiness in Everything, part 1

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” – George Carlin If your house is messier than mine is you are, ipso facto, a slob. Conversely, if my house is messier than yours then you are, by definition, a neat freak. Whose definition? Mine of course! I dare you (yes you, sitting in front of your computer there!) to tell... read more

Tune In, Turn Up, Drop Off (line)

The idea of being unplugged – and our need to do so –  is not a new one. In 1985, almost a decade before the Internet was a meaningful presence, bulletin board systems as diverse as “The Well“, CompuServe and Cleveland Freenet were populated by users so committed than many would remain online for days at a time. But recenty my friend Rabbi Pepperstone posted a link to an article... read more

Vayakhel (Ex. 35:1-38:20)

I had a hard time gathering my wits this week, and couldn’t bring myself to construct an artistic summary of the portion. No matter how hard I hammered the block of wood I call a brain, I couldn’t weave together anything that would mirror my thoughts. I’d sit at my desk for hours, fingers tented and looking for some kind of hook. My ideas seemed to hover just out of reach, cloudy and insubstantial. In the... read more

Masked Meanings

Yesterday, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (aka The Velveteen Rabbi) blogged about how Purim Katan presents us with a Rabbinic conundrum. In part, she says: The rabbis of the Mishna tell us the following: “There is no difference between the fourteenth of the first Adar and the fourteenth of the second Adar save in the matter of reading the Megillah, sending mishloach manot (reciprocal gifts of food), and... read more

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