Investing in relationships
Why does Gd repeat Gd’s status visa vie Moses and the Children of Israel in Exodus 6:2?: “And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: ‘I am the LORD…” ויְדַבֵּר אֱלֹקִים, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה; וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, אֲנִי יְדוָד.Read More
Why does Tikun Israel precede Tikun Olam?
I was recently asked at a talk that I gave why I emphasize the need for Tikun Israel to precede Tikun Olam. Here is part of my answer to the question: “Rav Salantar taught – first one fixes his house, then his community, then the world, and so on… I am extremely proud of the…Read More
The World As It Should Be?
The world as it should be? Now how you gonna do that? Last week’s Torah portion describes Jacob’s dream (you know, the one with the ladder): “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of Gd ascending and descending…Read More
ואהבת לרעך כמוך – Love your neighbor as yourself
“ואהבת לרעך כמוך” הוא פסוק בתורה, מצווה ומושג יסוד, לדעת חכמי ישראל לדורותיהם. משמעותו היא שהאדם צריך לאהוב את הזולת כשם שהוא אוהב את עצמו. מכלל זה נגזרים דרכי התנהגויות רבות, שבגללן חכמי המשנה התייחסו אליו כאל כלל מרכזי וחשוב בכל התורה. זה הזמן בחודש אלול לקראת ימי ראש השנה ויום כיפור שעלינו להתייחס אחד…Read More
I am for my beloved & my beloved is for me – אני לדודי ודודי לי
There’s a lot riding on this month of Elul as we journey to the Days of Awe; a period of healing, time to reflect on our lives and our relationships – with the expectation that we can return to a clean slate.Read More
A Case of Mistaken Identity II
Not quite. It turns out that many Jews regardless of their citizenship identify with the People of Israel/Jewish Peoplehood. For some the relationship is prompted by threats against Jews and the state of Israel generating a tremendous amount of talk-back and interest. The recent attack on Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, the rise of anti-Semitism…Read More
A case of mistaken identity?
I’m afraid so. Are we the People/Nation of Israel or the Jewish People? This could explain some of the disconnect we witness taking place among Jews (People of Israel) around the world. If Judaism’s ancestry is the tribe of Judah, and Judah was the son of Israel (Jacob), then aren’t we all Israelis?Read More
A stiff-necked People?
Exodus describes the Israelites as a “stiff necked people”; I prefer a “Resilient People”. Resilience is an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of exposure to adversity to function better than expected. Resilience…Read More
Tu B’Shvat in Israel – now I get it, too
Yitro, (Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law), a priest of Median “…heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel…” freeing them from slavery and guiding them through the Sinai wilderness (Ex. 18:1). This notion of hearing/knowing all that God has done is magnified here in Israel throughout the Jewish calendar. Since making Aliyah this…Read More
Why & how are we?
Jacob was to be known as Isra-el.”…כי שרית עם אלוקים ועם אנשים, ותוכל…” (בראשית לב:כט) – ‘Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for thou hast struggled with God and with humanity, and hast prevailed.’ (Genesis 32:29). Isra-el struggles with God and with humanity. We, the People of Isra-el, maintain that struggle/interaction…Read More