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….

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…

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…

Mishpatim

Another Shabbat is coming up, Parshat Mishpatim. It does feel like the weeks are running by, doesn’t it? This week, I am bringing you Alex Israel again, one of my teachers at Pardes. Here is the podcast that you can listen to while preparing for Shabbat. That’s what I do. Another great d’var Torah is coming…

Cooking with Parshat – Beshalach -בשלח

I decided to stick to my adventure of making at least one dish related to the Parshah read this week. In Parshat Beshalach we read: יד  וַתַּעַל, שִׁכְבַת הַטָּל; וְהִנֵּה עַל-פְּנֵי הַמִּדְבָּר, דַּק מְחֻסְפָּס–דַּק כַּכְּפֹר, עַל-הָאָרֶץ. 14 And when the layer of dew was gone up, behold upon the face of the wilderness a fine, scale-like thing,…

Cooking with Parshat

I have decided to start a new experiment. I will try making a specific dish for Shabbat having to do with the text of the Parshah. As of now, I have no idea how successful this project will be, but what have I got to lose, right? So, for Parshat Bo, which among other things…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses Ha’azinu / האזינו

This one is a short work week, and with all the holiday cooking and prepping, I do not see a chance for me to write any thoughtful d’var Torah. I have decided to leave you with the words of my colleague, Dr. Ackerman, again, as I don’t think I can say anything better. The only thing…

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 – Matot-Masei / מטות־מסעי

This Shabbat we read the two last Torah portions of the book “Bamidbar / Numbers”. And here’s how they start:     ב  וַיְדַבֵּר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-רָאשֵׁי הַמַּטּוֹת, לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר:  זֶה הַדָּבָר, אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָה. 2 And Moses spoke unto the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel, saying: This is the thing which the…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Shelach / שְׁלַח

Every Parshah “accidentally” throws some very contemporary notes at you. Everyone knows how ancient the city of Hebron is. This Parshah points out the depth of its history by comparing it to a city, apparently, well known in the ancient word and stating that Hebron is seven years older. כב  וַיַּעֲלוּ בַנֶּגֶב, וַיָּבֹא עַד-חֶבְרוֹן, וְשָׁם אֲחִימַן…

Verses of Pain, Food & D’var Torah All in One Shot

I guess we, the unfortunate souls trapped in the cement jungle of the biggest apple of the world – New York City are so used to the pollution we take for air, that once we hit the real clean air of the country, our bodies start to reject it. Right after returning from my mini…