The Calm Before the Storm

On the farm, you could see storms coming from far off, the wide, flat horizon offering a good view of storm clouds gathering miles away.  More than that, though, you could just tell when a storm was coming.  Birds would quiet and the air would still, feeling heavy.  Before a big summer storm, it would … Continue reading The Calm Before the Storm

Yosef’s Dreams and the Faith Clinic

In this week's Parsha, Yosef has dreams that he will be the greatest of his brothers and yet, he finds himself thrown into a pit and then wrongfully imprisoned on his way to greatness.  There had to be times, in the pit or in the jail cell, that Yosef's dreams had to seem very far … Continue reading Yosef’s Dreams and the Faith Clinic

Vayeitzei, Cancer, and the Power of Laughter

In this weeks parsha, poor Jacob goes through a lot of trials.  First, he has to flee his home under threat of violence from his brother.  Then, he sleeps on a rock and wrestles with an angel, earning him the name Israel and a wound he carries the rest of his life.  When he does … Continue reading Vayeitzei, Cancer, and the Power of Laughter

Slowing Down and Building the Mishkan

In this week's parsha, we talk about the actual building of the Mishkan, the moveable tabernacle that the Hebrews carried around with them in the desert wanderings.  Up to this point, we've talked about why there needed to be a Mishkan and we even had a rather long parsha that explained in great detail all … Continue reading Slowing Down and Building the Mishkan

Parshas Vayishlach – Wrestling with Angels and New Names

In this week's parsha, Yaakov famously wrestles with Esav's angel, gaining an injury and the name Israel.  In the Torah, every nation has its own angel watching over it and we've already learned that Esav is destined to be a mighty nation in his own right.  The struggle is dramatic and costs Yaakov, injuring his … Continue reading Parshas Vayishlach – Wrestling with Angels and New Names

Parshas Chayei Sarah – Big Shoes To Fill

In this week's parsha, Sarah, the spiritual mother of all Jews and particularly of converts, dies and is the first person to be buried in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the only piece of the land promised to Abraham that he would actually own in his lifetime, but a promise for more.  Rivka … Continue reading Parshas Chayei Sarah – Big Shoes To Fill

Parshas Lech Lecha – Go!

This week's parsha begins the story of Avraham, the father of monotheism and the spiritual father of all Jewish converts.  His story begins with a command that's familiar: “Go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you.”   In some way or other, we all … Continue reading Parshas Lech Lecha – Go!

Whispered Prayers Within Cube Walls

Morning sun awakens late half the morning gone at work I glance out the window, noting it's return I stand, book in hand hidden by cubical walls My feet point east to unseen mountains my lips begin to flutter my voice a whisper they never seem to notice or hear my prayers coded in a … Continue reading Whispered Prayers Within Cube Walls

Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech: Choices and a Life of Happiness vs. a Life of Meaning

In this week's double dose parsha, Moses completes telling the Jewish people the laws of the Torah and all the blessings and curses they will receive depending on whether they choose to follow it or abandon it.  He reassures them that keeping the mitzvos really isn't impossible. “For the mitzvah which I command you this day, it … Continue reading Parshas Nitzavim-Vayelech: Choices and a Life of Happiness vs. a Life of Meaning