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…

Memphis

So for the last few days, I’ve spent my time at the event my organization holds every two years on the border of three states, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. Apparently, the bridge that I saw every day from the Convention Center window marks the border of two of them going along the mighty Mississippi river. What can I…

Am I still entangled with Mother-Russia?

I wonder if it is coincidental that I have read this book over Shabbat just prior to the 2018 Russian presidential election. I got this book from my favorite book-junkie event of the year – the Jewish Book Council “Raid the Shelves“. Luckily, I work right next door, so I don’t schlep all of them at once,…

Roller-Coaster During Yamim Noraim / ימים נוראים

These Days of Awe –  ימים נוראים have been very challenging for me so far. Is the Universe trying to tell me something that I refuse to hear? Right after Rosh haShana my body started to give in somehow. Yesterday, I decided to defy the pain and walk to a Community Beit Midrash Kick off at Mechon…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Shoftim / שֹׁפְטִים

People think about different things when their minds drift away from the task at hand. Being super busy now at work, I somehow still always manage to find my way to Israel in my mind.  And today I am missing it so much it hurts. Maybe one of the reasons is that here, in the…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Re’eh / ראה

This is a Parshah of choices. To go right or left. To live or to die. To walk straight or in curved lines. כו  רְאֵה, אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם–הַיּוֹם:  בְּרָכָה, וּקְלָלָה. 26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: כז  אֶת-הַבְּרָכָה–אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְעוּ, אֶל-מִצְו‍ֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם, הַיּוֹם. 27 the blessing, if ye…

FORGET ABOUT KOREA, REMEMBER HEZBOLLAH and its patron IRAN!

Originally posted on scriptoris:
Whilst the world is understandably distracted by the brinkmanship of the North Korean dictator, it is worth noting that the real threat comes from Iran and its proxies, notably Hezbollah. One might say that is so for Israel, but not so for the US or even Europe. But wait, one matter…

How this 650-year-old French synagogue withstood centuries of anti-Semitism

I decided to re-blog this article about a historical shul. Pretty Amazing!   CARPENTRAS, France (JTA) — The synagogue in this Provence town is Western Europe’s oldest functioning Jewish house of worship — and one of the prettiest on the continent. The Synagogue of Carpentras, which this year is celebrating its 650th anniversary, has a Baroque-style interior…

Some Observations

This was an interesting week for me: challenging, exhilarating, nourishing, disturbing, all at once. Last Sunday, I have started a week long Jewish Professionals Institute at Mechon Hadar. My reasoning was mostly financial – since I wouldn’t be able to afford going to Jerusalem this year to study at Pardes, I decided I would take…

Birthday Vacation – Made in America!

I’ve spent the last three days in Upstate New York, or more precise the Hudson River Valley. A couple of friends and I rented an Airbnb in Sparrow Bush, near Historic Port Jervis.  It was so nice. peaceful, quiet, relaxing. Driving through this area makes you keenly aware of the beauty of the scenic routes all around, as well…

Songs that I Love

Being at Limmud FSU reminded me again that Jews come in all colors, speak different languages, have diverse backgrounds and like a variety of things. Music is probably the one thing that brings us together regardless of what specific kind of music we love. At the conference, we heard the very talented singer from Israel, Ninet. We…