Parshat Re’eh offers one of the most interesting mitzvot in the Torah…

Healing Words

In my previous pulpit position, I worked with a rabbi who wouldn’t allow himself to be on the Mi SheBerakh list. No matter how ill he got (although, in the time I was there, he never got that ill) he would refuse to let his name be mentioned during the … READ MORE

The Year Ahead

Among the most terrifying words a rabbi can declare from the bimah are “the new month of Elul begins in the coming week.” Every year I shake a little, taken aback by how soon that statement means the new year will be beginning. But, as a friend of mine would … READ MORE

Milk and Honey

In Parshat Sh’lah Lekha (also simply called Sh’lah), we are presented with the term “Eretz Zavat Halav u’Dvash”, referring to the land of Israel as a “land flowing with milk and honey.” Those of us with a sense of food history know that the dominant food sweetener of our people … READ MORE

Spring’s Blessing

It is officially Spring and I hear that, in some quarters, it’s actually starting to look and feel that way! Though we associate the beginning of spring with the holiday of Pesach, Jewish tradition makes other seasonally appropriate connections, too. Among them are Birkat Ha-Ilanot, the blessing on (blooming) trees:   ברוך אתה … READ MORE

The Sweet in the Bitter Month

In the next few days, we will enter the month of מרחשחון (Marheshvan). In truth, the month is really called Heshvan, but there is a strong tradition to refer to it by the longer name. This tradition is so strong that when the month is announced in synagogue, as it was … READ MORE