The Lonely Place of Connection

 Parashat VaYetse, Genesis 28:10-32:3   It’s a paradox: To find community, I have to find my individual self. Or turn that around: As I find myself in God, I find that I’m part of something much bigger than myself. Our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all encounter moments of intense solitude on their way to… Continue reading The Lonely Place of Connection

Advertisements

Lekh L’kha—The Essential Journey

Parashat Lekh L’kha, Genesis 12:1–17:27 Abraham’s lifelong conversation with Hashem begins with a simple two-word phrase: “Lekh l’kha—get going!” (Gen 12:1). Before the Lord reveals anything about his character, purpose, and plans to Avraham, he sends him on a journey. My translation of Lekh l’kha here might differ from the one in your Bible. It’s… Continue reading Lekh L’kha—The Essential Journey

Rosh Hashanah and the Empty Water-skin

The Akeidah, the story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22, is one of the highlights of our observance of Rosh Hashanah. It’s such a rich and compelling story, in fact, that we often forget that it's preceded by the parallel story of the sending away of Ishmael in Genesis 21. The sages portray… Continue reading Rosh Hashanah and the Empty Water-skin

God in Exile

Seventh Haftarah of Comfort, Isaiah 61:10–63:9 At the great turning-point of Moses’ life—which was also a great turning point for the entire nation of Israel languishing in Egyptian captivity—God chose to speak to Moses from out of a thorn-bush of all places. Why not from the wide blue sky, or the starry heavens at night,… Continue reading God in Exile

The Waters Meet Their Limit

Fifth Haftarah of Comfort: Isaiah 54:1–10 For this is like the waters of Noah to Me: for as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more cover the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor will I rebuke you. Though the mountains depart and the hills… Continue reading The Waters Meet Their Limit

Repentance: Path to Restoration

Repentance is one of the main themes of this season, culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (September 29-30 this year). It's more than a holiday theme, though; it's an essential spiritual practice, and here's a step-by-step guide. Messiah Yeshua taught, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to… Continue reading Repentance: Path to Restoration

Antidote to Anxiety

Fourth Haftarah of Comfort: Isaiah 51:12–52:12 Hashem is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Hashem is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1 When I was in elementary school we had random air-raid drills from time to time. We’d be in the middle of class and… Continue reading Antidote to Anxiety