Passover: Seders and Solidarity

Passover: Seders and Solidarity

As you all know, throughout the country last Saturday students and adults participated in March For Our Lives. Following our Shabbat service, I walked over to the Great Neck side of town; where a rally took place at Ielpi Park. Our synagogue was mentioned as a supporter of this rally; I did not speak but

Shabbat Hagadol: Miracles Past and Future

Shabbat Hagadol: Miracles Past and Future

Shabbat Hagadol: Miracles Past and Future I am writing this weekly blog on Thursday morning, resigned to realities of a winter Passover. According to the Torah, Passover is hag ha’aviv (springtime festival), but this year the designation is more theoretical and fantasy. Always the optimist, I will eat the Karpas (during the Seder)...

Parshat Vayikra: Symbolic Acts of Freedom

Parshat Vayikra: Symbolic Acts of Freedom

One of the recurring themes I have conveyed to students over the years is the power of symbolism. Symbolic acts may not often effect universal change, but they do help us make statements about who we are and for what we stand. Take Passover for example. The Seder was never intended to focus on our

Shabbat Parah and Accountability

Shabbat Parah and Accountability

In the Shabbat Torah and Haftorah readings this week, there are two themes which stand out in my mind. In the portion of Pekuday (the second portion in a combined Torah reading this week) we learn about accountability. Moses takes complete inventory of every item donated for the new desert Tabernacle. He records every piece

Parshat Ki Tissa: Devastation vs. Celebration

Parshat Ki Tissa: Devastation vs. Celebration

This is a great time of year for a sports enthusiast. First of all, baseball spring training has begun. Basketball and hockey are beginning their most intense stage of the regular season. Football conversation abounds with all the hoopla concerning where college players will be drafted by the National Football League. Although many of us...

Parshat Tetzaveh: Being a Kingdom of Priests

Parshat Tetzaveh: Being a Kingdom of Priests

The Torah portion of Tetzaveh may appeal to fashion designers and to anyone obsessed with details about professional uniforms. To the rest of us, Tetzaveh seems quite remote. We learn about the vestments worn by the Priests, when fulfilling their professional duties. The vestments are explained with great care; as if most of us are