Currently Browsing: Elul

Day 03 – Search

Perhaps more than any other narrative arc in Torah, the Yosef story is one of the subtle searching that we do throughout life. I’m not talking about why Yaakov didn’t search for Yosef when he was reported dead. I’m not talking about the fabricated search for the “special cup” among the sacks of brother’s wheat years later. Or even the existential search for faith and... read more

#BlogElul 02-Act

For me to say that Pinchas epitomizes the concept of a “man of action” is nothing new. Faced with a constellation of horrifying events – a plague decimating the tribes in the desert, rampant immorality spreading across the population, and the blatant desecration of the space God had designated as Kodesh (more than “holy”, the word carries the idea of being “separate,... read more

#BlogElul Day 01 – Prepare

It is 2:00 as I write this. I’ve just finished a 4 page, 2500-word letter to my oldest son, who tomorrow at the tender age of 16 will fly off to Yeshiva, the first person in our family (going back as many generations as I can trace) ever to do so. I will be flying with him from Cleveland to Missouri, along with 4 suitcases full of his cloths, books, and assorted Important Things ™. We’ve... read more

#BlogElul Day 29: Return

The first 15 pages or so of the “Gates of Repentance” machzor contain quotes and ideas which form my first recollection of “the High Holy Days”. Even as a restless teen, dreading the hours of boredom ahead of me and mind already spinning elaborate plans find my way to the freedom of friends and hallways outside the sanctuary, I still took time to read through the quotes, thoughts,... read more

#BlogElul Day 28: Give

Ask any Synagogue Sunday School class what that envelope, or jar, or pushke is – the one the fill with pennies, nickels, and dimes each week – and they will all tell you: “It’s for tzedakah!”. Ask them what “tzedakah” is and you may not get as solid an answer. Here’s the thing: Tzedakah doesn’t mean “charity” …it doesn’t mean... read more

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