One of the storylines in this week's Torah portion, Vayishlach, is about the violation of Dinah, Jacob's only daughter. Remarkably enough, the story does not focus on Dinah. It gives her no voice of her own; her perspective is not discussed. The story centers on Dinah's male relatives – their reactions to Dinah’s ‘defilement’, their negotiations with … Continue reading It’s All About Who Tells the Story
This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Emor, tells us to leave the corners of our fields unharvested for the poor – this is one of the most famous commandments of the Torah. "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field, or gather the … Continue reading The Best Kind of Tzedakah
This week’s parsha, Tzav, presents the various sacrifices detailed to the Israelites last week in Vayikra, but this time the focus of the presentation is the priests. It reads like a how-to ritual manual: What priests must wear, how to prepare each type of offering (down to the smallest detail), and the specifics of priestly consecration and … Continue reading The Power of Ritual / Spring Yizkor Service
If I had to choose just one word to describe how many of us felt in 2020, it would be “hopeless”. 2020 felt hopeless. The year started off well, but went downhill fast and stayed there. We spent much of 2020 dreaming about the arrival of 2021. The new year represented hope, and it couldn’t arrive … Continue reading PERSPECTIVE ON 2021 & Prayer for Inauguration Week
The more thankful we are, the happier we are. It’s a fact. However, as Thanksgiving approaches, many of us are struggling with the concept. It’s easy to forget how much we are blessed, especially during this ridiculously difficult time, when it feels as if the universe has a somewhat sick sense of humor. Like so … Continue reading Is ‘Thanksgiving 2020’ an Oxymoron?
Approximately 2000 years ago, after the destruction of the second Temple, Judaism traded animal sacrifice for prayer in one of its most significant adaptations over the millenia. By making this considerable change to its worship rituals, Judaism thus survived. Today, we are living in a time when we must make significant changes to our current … Continue reading What is the Connection Between Vuvuzelas and the High Holidays? …and high holiday registration…
Parashat Behar states: “… Six years you may sow your field and six years you may prune your vineyard and gather in the yield. But in the seventh year the land shall have a Sabbath of complete rest…. You shall hallow the 50th year. You shall proclaim release throughout the land for all its inhabitants. It … Continue reading Capitalism AND Compassion – Parashat Behar
Why is this Night Different from all other Nights? Oh, please. Don't get me started.Okay, get me started....Due to the current plague [oh, the irony], many of us of are planning to connect via technology for our seders this year. This is an unprecedented situation in our modern world, where an actual plague is rendering … Continue reading Seder in the Time of Coronavirus – Resources
Welcome to the most fun holiday of the Jewish calendar year! Purim (this year observed Monday evening 3/9/20 - Tuesday 3/10/20) commemorates the day Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jewish people from execution by Haman, the advisor to the Persian king. Esther bravely exposed her previously hidden Jewish heritage to her husband the king and … Continue reading Happy Purim!
Grab a nosh and a bottle of wine [you know, for kiddush], curl up in your pajamas, and join us this Friday evening 1/31 for Ahava's livestream service - Shabbat Live or Later!The service will begin promptly at 6pm, and will be broadcast live on both Ahava's Facebook page HERE and Ahava's Youtube channel HERE. You may join the … Continue reading Shabbat Live or Later! and Honeymoon Israel