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…

Bread Therapy

So today is Tu bi Av. Lovely to spend it alone, feeling miserable and listening to the sound of the rain outside, isn’t it? So the whole day I was working on my computer feeling like you know what. Finally, I realized that I had to do something therapeutic. So I decided to make the…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Emor / פרשת אמור

These are such loaded Parshiot! So many things to discuss, it’s hard to pick. Books can be written in modern politically correct world about the lines devotes to who is allowed to come close to the “congregation of GD” Books can be also written on the question of a blemished sacrifice and why it is…

Just Two Verses

Yesterday, taking a break from pre-Pesach cleaning, I decided to go to a class for some real preparation. The Community Beit Midrash project is a cooperation of several learning institutions we are lucky to have here, in New York City. This one was held at Drisha, located just a block from the Central Park. It was…

A Few of my Favorite … Lines

Today, when things happening in my life have put me in front of the same dilemma, again and again, I am back to being confused and angry at myself for inability to make a final decision. It is written in the Mishna “Say little and do much” (Avoth 1:15) It seems that all I do is talk, and do…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses -Shmot

שְׁמוֹת – is known by the name “exodus”, the second book of Torah. In reality, it means simply “names”, exactly how the verse starts: א  וְאֵלֶּה, שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, הַבָּאִים, מִצְרָיְמָה:  אֵת יַעֲקֹב, אִישׁ וּבֵיתוֹ בָּאוּ. 1 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man came with…

Laughing at Myself

Изнывая от жажды Я по снежной пустыне бреду “Но ведь снег – он вода”, любопытный тотчас удивится Что ты, путник ? Ведь снег – он холодный! Для меня такой тёплой и тонкой И не лучше-ль от жажды мне сдохнуть, чем на шаг отступить и напиться?     P.S. Three years later I can safely laugh…

Verses Before Shabbat

It is almost Shabbat here, in New York. This means that Shabbat has long descended on Jerusalem, the city of my dreams. Today, Israel is suffering again. No time, or strength to talk about the reasons of these deadly fires. Just these words, written long time ago bringing me back to it, again and again. When…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Lech Lecha

There are two very significant points for me in this week’s Parshah לֶךְ-לְךָ Lech Lecha. First comes from an amazing shiur of Rabbi Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain. He argues that if we look closer at the text of the previous Parshah:  וַיִּקַּח תֶּרַח אֶת-אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ, וְאֶת-לוֹט בֶּן-הָרָן בֶּן-בְּנוֹ, וְאֵת שָׂרַי כַּלָּתוֹ, אֵשֶׁת אַבְרָם בְּנוֹ;…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Noach

  וְנֹחַ, מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD (Genesis 6:8) אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ–נֹחַ אִישׁ צַדִּיק תָּמִים הָיָה, בְּדֹרֹתָיו:  אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים, הִתְהַלֶּךְ-נֹחַ These are the generations of Noah. Noah was in his generations a man righteous and whole-hearted; Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9) Did you ever notice that…

Parshat ha Shavuah Verses – Beresheet

I have decided to try writing a few lines about each parsha – פָּרָשָׁה.  I guess, we shall see where it takes me. Of course, I am not making any promises – so bli neder. Again, this is not poetry, just words coming out to offer my view on things. Here we are in the week of…

Verses Outloud

What makes a poet? His success? His literary style? The fact that his poems make it into the world of music? The voice of a singer? All of the above? How is it that some poems, whether read or sang are unforgettable, while the others, albeit good ones, stay with you just for a little…