How to Fall on Your Face: The Spiritual Art of Leadership

This post is for you if you ever felt small after receiving critique or challenge, or that a leadership burden is too heavy, or that no good deed goes unpunished. (Essentially, this post is for everyone.) And of… Continue reading

When Fright Makes Right

Some fear is healthy (“don’t stand in a busy highway”). Other fear is insidious, paralyzing, hope-draining and soul-snatching – and existential fear can be toxic if left to fester. This week’s Torah portion (Shlach) calls… Continue reading

Receiving Torah, renewing the soul

Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center Shavuot Retreat June 11, 2016 • 5 Sivan 5776 On this Shabbat flowing into Shavuot, our Torah portion readies us to receive Torah anew inהתחדשות הנפש / renewal of… Continue reading

China as Sinai and Parakeets on the Roof: The Important Spiritual Art of Jewish Bloopers

I’ll never forget that time I taught the first line of this week’s Torah portion (B’midbar). One English translation begins, “God spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai” (Numbers 1:1), from which Jewish tradition spins countless interpretations.… Continue reading

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