Parshat Ki Tavo – Justice, but Where is Kindness?

This week's parsha seems to mirror what I see in the world around me this week.  Most of the parsha is concerned with a number of blessings and curses that Moses tells the people will happen to them.  He commands that half of the tribes will ascend one mountain and half the other when they … Continue reading Parshat Ki Tavo – Justice, but Where is Kindness?

The Beautiful Captive – Parshas Ki Teitzei

This week's parsha (weekly Torah portion) is a doozy.  Even just from a perspective of trying to process it all, this week's parsha has 74 of the Torah's 613 mitzvahs in it, so that's a lot to take in.  Interestingly, though, this week's parsha also has a lot of mitzvahs regarding women.  My dear friend … Continue reading The Beautiful Captive – Parshas Ki Teitzei

Parsha Re’eh – A Blessing and a Curse

This week's parsha comes at a very critical time, both in recent modern history as well as on the Jewish calendar.  We are at the end of the Hebrew month of Av and the month of Elul is about to begin, which is a month dedicated to repentance.  It's a time when Jews take stock … Continue reading Parsha Re’eh – A Blessing and a Curse

Parshas Eikev – Turning Our Eyes to a New Land

This week's parsha continues the theme of Moses preparing the Jews to enter the land of Egypt.  He wants them to be ready for the challenges that they will face and he uses a mixture of encouragement and also some reminders of their past failings.  He's essentially been the father of this people, bringing them … Continue reading Parshas Eikev – Turning Our Eyes to a New Land

This Week’s Parsha – Pinchas – A Tale of Two Sets of Daughters

This week's parsha has always been one I've stumbled over.  I know I'm supposed to revile the Moabite women who seduce the Israelites and cheer on Pinchas as he becomes a righteous zealot, skewering one of them and Zimri, gaining his descendants the priesthood.  Still, just something seems off about it, particularly as it comes … Continue reading This Week’s Parsha – Pinchas – A Tale of Two Sets of Daughters

Parsha Shlach and Our Own Years in the Desert

In this week's parsha, the Jewish people are punished for the false reports 10 of the 12 spies come back with.  Their punishment is to wait 40 more years in the desert and to only have their children be able to go into the land they have been promised. I recently read a commentary by … Continue reading Parsha Shlach and Our Own Years in the Desert

The Power of Knowing Your Why

The book of Numbers has another name in the Talmud...the book of complainers.  It's a pretty apt description since it isn't long into this book before the Jewish people begin complaining.  They've been in the desert a long time, wandering.  The exciting miracles and sparks of inspiration have dimmed and are more in the past. … Continue reading The Power of Knowing Your Why

The Ten Unfaithful Spies and an Eye Infection

Somewhere in the past blur of weeks, I contracted an eye infection.  The cure for this infection is, ironically, stinging, burning drops I must put in every two hours.  That's not fun.  Even worse, during this time, I have to wear my glasses, which give me headaches and make me feel dizzy and sick to … Continue reading The Ten Unfaithful Spies and an Eye Infection

The Missing Mixed Multitude?

There are bits and pieces of stories of converts mixed into the Torah.  We read the book of Ruth on Shavuos, which is such a moving story.  We look to Avraham as the first of the converts in many ways.  However, the story that has always fascinated me is the story of the "mixed multitude" … Continue reading The Missing Mixed Multitude?

Birthday Cake and Mitzvos

I'm reading a really good book about Family Purity called "Total Immersion."  All the books I've read on the topic previously have been more dry and focused on the "how" of the mitzvah, not the "why" or deeper spiritual dimension and I'm really enjoying this chance to step back and sink deeper into those aspects. … Continue reading Birthday Cake and Mitzvos