In the Wilderness: How to Receive Torah

Next weekend (June 11, 2016) is Shavuot, Festival of Receiving Torah, when we evoke standing together at Sinai to receive anew the wisdom we call Torah. As preparation, this week’s Torah portion (Bamidbar – “in the… Continue reading

Ask the Rabbi: Are We Commanded to Vote?

Every Jew has a duty to vote in the democratic elections in one’s nation of citizenship. Jewish law mandates the creation of civil government (Avot 3:2, Avodah Zara 4a) and obliges all who… Continue reading

Keystones of Renewal: The ALEPH Listening Tour, the Future and You.

Kabbalat Shabbat Congregation Nevei Kodesh Boulder, Colorado May 20, 2016 • 13 Iyar 5776   Shabbat Shalom.  Thank you, Rabbi Sarah Bracha and the Nevei Kodesh family, for so warmly welcoming Rachel and… Continue reading

Blemishes, One and All

One of the greatest blemishes on Biblical tradition is how it treats the so-called “blemish” of those who might be called into spiritual service. This week’s Torah portion (Emor) shines this challenge directly… Continue reading

All of Us: ‘Rock Band’ Judaism and Emotional Contagion

Scientists report that playing a game like Rock Band  can make you more caring – and the reason touches the core of what it means to be Jewish. Humans tend to experience less empathy for “strangers”… Continue reading

Shabbat HaGadol, the ALEPH Listening Tour, and reclaiming the voice

Kabbalat Shabbat – Shabbat HaGadol Kehilla Community Synagogue April 15, 2016 • 8 Nisan 5776 Shabbat Shalom.  Thank you Reb David, Reb Dev, Hazzan Shulamit, Reb Burt, Reb Diane and the whole Kehilla family for… Continue reading

Going free in the light

Shabbat Dvar – Parshat Tazria Elijah Minyan & Shirat HaYam San Diego, California April 9, 2016 • 1 Nisan 5776 Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov.  Thank you Reb Wayne and Ellen, David and Rhonda,… Continue reading

Keeping the fire burning

Kabbalat Shabbat Dvar – Parshat Tzav Or Shalom Synagogue Vancouver, British Columbia March 25, 2016 • 16 Adar II 5776 Shabbat shalom.  For months Rachel and I have looked forward to this weekend, and… Continue reading

Keeping the Light On

Next time you are in a synagogue, gaze at the eternal flame atop the Ark.  Its symbolism represents the beating heart of spiritual and community life, if we make it so. Our spiritual… Continue reading

“If One’s Means Do Not Suffice”: Confronting the High Price of Doing Jewish

Judaism and justice go hand in hand. The Jewish value of tzedakah (charity, from the Hebrew word for “justice”) underscores that to “be Jewish” is partly to “do Jewish,” and to “do Jewish” means… Continue reading