Parshat Behar and the Jewish Influence on Early America

Parshat Behar and the Jewish Influence on Early America

Parshat Behar and the Jewish Influence on Early America For anyone who visited Philadelphia before 9/11, it is painful to see the Liberty Bell under such tight security. Before 9/11 one could just matter of factly view the Liberty Bell through an open window. Since 9/11 unfortunately, the Bell is hidden from sight. The tragic

Emor and the Challenges of Our Past

Emor and the Challenges of Our Past

Emor and the Challenges of Our Past Rabbi’s Note: The Torah portion this week represents my Bar Mitzvah portion. What follows is a revised version of my remarks this past Monday; during the Sisterhood program featuring renown author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin. When I was old enough and more engaged about the state of

On Israel’s Birthday

On Israel’s Birthday

Throughout the world, Israel continues to be vilified as the enemy of humanity; the nation where apartheid, discrimination and the most egregious human rights abuses are manifested in the most vile form. On a daily basis, we hear the voices emanating from the UN Human Rights Council; supporting yet another baseless resolution against...

Tazria/ Metzora: The Trauma of Feeling Isolated

Tazria/ Metzora: The Trauma of Feeling Isolated

Were I to rank the Torah readings in terms of interest and ‘first glance relevancy’; this week’s double portion of Tazria and Metzora would rank near the bottom. Reading about a skin disease in all its grotesque and graphic details, would not be my initial idea of inspiring scripture. Follow up with an equally grotesque...

Torah Portion Shmini: Prominence and Responsibility

Torah Portion Shmini: Prominence and Responsibility

Torah Portion Shmini: Prominence and Responsibility After the tragic deaths of Nadav and Avihu: Through those near to Me I show Myself holy, And gain glory before all the people Leviticus 10:3 This week we read about Nadav and Avihu; two sons of Aaron tragically killed during a moment of professional carelessness and irresponsibility. The...

The Magnificent Humbling Aspect of Passover

The Magnificent Humbling Aspect of Passover

From the time I was a teenager, I led my family’s Seder. My relatives were no different from most: Let’s move on so we can eat. Were I a super idealist, I would argue that my relatives were not disinterested; they were just ashamed to admit how little they understood about the Haggadah. I would