Just Because

Today, when we are about to read Parshat Toldot talking among other things about a family, all I can think of is the prospect of it – a fleeting tiny breath of fresh air. These days my heart races from heaven to hell and back twenty times a day. Being used to misery in my…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses –Chayei Sarah

Originally posted on Noshing Across the Nation:
There are not too many women whose stories are told in detail in the Torah. Sarah is one of these unique women that merits this validation from the Rabbis:”Avraham was secondary to Sarah in prophecy” (Shemot Raba 1:1). This woman was outstandingly beautiful, wise, modest and strong-willed at…

וַיֵּרָא? Do I see or do I just Imagine?

Reading this Parshah – Parshat Vayeira, I kept thinking about myself. After so many struggles and so much pain, do I even have the ability to “lift [my] eyes” and really “see” – לראות – רואה? In this Parshah we have characters who see, and those who, clearly, do not: כז  וַיַּשְׁכֵּם אַבְרָהָם, בַּבֹּקֶר:  אֶל-הַמָּקוֹם–אֲשֶׁר-עָמַד שָׁם, אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָה….

יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Haftarah

This chapter of יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Isaiah looks like a song to me. A song of promise that we need right now so desperately. Does it always seem that times are as difficult as they can be, or they are, indeed, more challenging than before? I suppose that this is not a politically correct chapter mentioning women…

קוּמִי אוֹרִי, כִּי בָא אוֹרֵךְ; וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה, עָלַיִךְ זָרָח. Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

This week’s Haftarah brings me back to Jerusalem, of course. Jerusalem, as a city of prophets and a place for G-d’s vision to come alive, a city with blood, tears, hopes and joy all intertwined with each other in one giant ball of cosmic energy too tight and ready to burst out. It always seems…

Ottolenghi Lemon Blueberry Teacakes

Sometimes fortune smiles at you. I mean my culinary fortune. My daughter went to an event with chef Ottolenghi and got his “Sweet” book. Apparently, the chef takes his publishing endeavors seriously. A little while after, she got another book and a letter stating that the first version had some errors in print (the list…

Isaiah – יְשַׁעְיָהוּ – Haftarah – הפטרה

Tradition has is that Haftarah readings were instituted during the times when public reading of the Torah was prohibited in Israel by non-Jewish authorities of the land. The sages then used this “trick” of reading the books of the prophets as to not leave the people without the word of G-d altogether. The specific portions…

First Week in Israel

Technically, this is my second week. I arrived, exhausted after a long layover in Europe and a few hours that took me to get to Tzfat from Ben Gurion, Thursday. Having been met by my friend, a jewelry designer, whom I didn’t see since 1994, I was clearly ready to crash, but happy to see…

חֻקַּת – Laws

Reading this Parshah, everyone always speaks about the red heifer – פָּרָה אֲדֻמָּה I want to talk about the people leading the nation, and their tragedies. This is a Parshah, where both Miriam and Aaron die and Moses makes that tragic mistake that costs him his entrance to Eretz Yisrael. א  וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל-הָעֵדָה מִדְבַּר-צִן, בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן, וַיֵּשֶׁב…

Korach קֹרַח

This is a Parshah about leadership. Leadership לשם שמים – for the sake of heaven, and leadership for the sake of oneself. It is also about holiness – קְדֻשָּׁה‎. Are we all holy? Is there one role more holy than another? What is an individual’s place in society? It is also about wisdom – wisdom to act…

Beha’alotecha

A few takes on this week’s Parshah come from some of the sources I like:   “The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Take the Levites from among the Israelites and purify them.’” (Numbers 8:5)  Parashat B’ha-alot’cha describes the final preparations for leaving Sinai: the purification of the Levites, the order of the tribes, and the trumpet calls to signal the…