Portion of Terumah: Where have All the Volunteers Gone????

  As a rabbi, I try to find the good in all people. For example, when it comes to celebrities, I look beyond the surface and consider the more personal and selfless contributions they make to society. This past Sunday much of America focused on the Super Bowl; with emphasis on the game itself and

B’Shallakh: Freedom for All

    We refer to this Shabbat as Shabbat Shira (Sabbath of the Song), in honor of the freedom song b’nai yisrael sang upon escape from Egypt. What resonates with us is not necessarily the contents of the song, but its ideals. We relate to the Shira because of our personal histories. We and/or our

Parshat Bo and the End of Entitlements

  Living in the Great Neck area has introduced me to the notion of entitlement. The other day I was waiting to make a left turn from Lakeville Road. to Marcus Avenue. The line of cars in front and was extensive, yet I patiently waited my turn along with everyone else. Suddenly, a driver from

Parshat Matot Masei: Appreciating the Struggles For Freedom

Parshat Matot Masei: Appreciating the Struggles For Freedom

Parshat Matot Masei: Appreciating the Struggles For Freedom I am writing my weekly Torah portion blog on Monday, to highlight a personal fast I am undertaking today. In the Torah portion of Masei , we read a dry and detailed list of all the places through which b’nai yisrael passed on the way to their Promised Land. Occasionally...

Parshat Balak: Not Everyone Hates a Jew

Parshat Balak: Not Everyone Hates a Jew

Balak: Not Everyone Hates a Jew I started my career at a new (and only) synagogue in Bradenton, Florida. Bradenton was known for the Tropicana OJ Factory, for the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training base, and for dozens of churches, mainstream and evangelical. On several occasions, the local churches would invite a guest speaker from an...

Parshat Hukkat and the Long Journey

Parshat Hukkat and the Long Journey

Parshat Hukkat and the Long Journey Yesterday,, the school my son attends held its High School graduation. Students who graduate The Village School are generally emotional and demonstrative about their achievements. For many of them, Village School represents the kind of nurturing, safe and comfortable environment they never before...