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…

Women’s Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah in my shul is pretty happy with lots of dancing on the ground floor, and lots of women watching from above. Normally, this arrangement is fine with me. I, actually like to be on the second floor, where on a regular Shabbat we don’t have many women, and I can see and hear…

וְזֹאת הַבְּרָכָה – And this is the Blessing

We are approaching the end of the Autumn Holy Days, the last two parashot in the Torah before starting anew with “In the Beginning”. This week is the final blessing Moshe gives to the nation, the “stiff-necked people” he had to deal with for over 40 years. He has the strength and the desire to…

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…

Life after Pardes in Jerusalem

Well, every good thing comes to an end, and I am firmly settled back in the land of the USA, the city of New York, the supposed “center of the world” or so it deems itself. For me, of course, this phrase does not ring true. The only real center of the world is Jerusalem,…

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…

Bamidbar

“Do not on any account enrol the tribe of Levi or take a census of them with the Israelites.”  (Numbers 1:49)  Below are the words of Dr. David Ackerman: Parashat Bamidbar opens the fourth book of the Torah, also called Bamidbar, in the wilderness of…  In Bamidbar, God orders Moses to prepare the Israelites for their wilderness trek by conducting a conduct a census…

Acharei Mot – אַֽחֲרֵ֣י מ֔וֹת

Tomorrow is my dad’s Yortzait according to the Hebrew date. Fittingly, the Parshah for the week is Acharei Mot – after the death. I have written a lot about this, and there’s nothing to add today. The pain and the emptiness stay with us, the good memories last much longer, thankfully. Looking back, I get to realize…