Hope Undying

This week culminates in Shabbat HaChodesh, the New Moon of the first month (March 16–17), which means Passover will be only two weeks away, at the full moon of the first month. Now, New Moon might sound like an esoteric topic in our high-tech urban world, but we’ll see that it’s actually most relevant—not just… Continue reading Hope Undying

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It Begins with Thanks

Parashat Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1–24:18 I thank You, living and eternal King, for giving me back my soul in mercy. Great is Your faithfulness. Modeh Ani prayer from the Koren Siddur   Have you ever given someone a gift and been disappointed when they didn’t say “thank you”? The gift was a gift, no strings attached,… Continue reading It Begins with Thanks

Who Deserves Forgiveness?

Last week I posted a commentary on Vayechi, the final Torah portion in Genesis, entitled How Trust Can Be Restored. It opened with a question, or two actually: “The news stream today is filled with stories of abuse and betrayal, and we might wonder whether deeds like this can ever be forgiven. And even if… Continue reading Who Deserves Forgiveness?

Favor Elevates Its Giver

Parashat VaYishlach, Gen 32:4–36:43 When someone asks us, “Will you do me a favor?” we’re likely to ask what they have in mind before we say yes or no. Why? Because a favor by definition is something undeserved, something that might go beyond the ordinary, and we want to know what it is before we… Continue reading Favor Elevates Its Giver

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

The All-Israel Alignment

Sixth Haftarah of Comfort, Isaiah 60:1-22 All Israel will be saved. Romans 11:26 Isaiah has provided many images and metaphors of Israel’s restoration throughout the Haftarot of Comfort—return from exile, flowering of the Land of Israel, rebuilding of her cities, tribute and honor coming from the surrounding nations. Now, toward the end of these readings,… Continue reading The All-Israel Alignment