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
This Thanksgiving week's Torah portion, Tol’dot, begins with the birth of Jacob and Esau (though not in that order), continues with the tale of jealousy between the brothers, and ends with the deception of Isaac by Jacob. It contains the destructive themes of competition and jealousy between siblings, favoritism by parents, and deception among family … Continue reading Endless Blessings – Toldot and Thanksgiving
Everything has a beginning and an end. Including Simchat Torah, although not in that order. The festival of Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in the Torah), which falls this year on October 21st [October 22nd for traditional Jews outside Israel], marks the end of the annual cycle of Torah readings. It also marks the beginning of the annual cycle of Torah … Continue reading Beginnings and Endings – Simchat Torah
This Shabbat is the start of Elul, the month leading up to the High Holy Days. It is a month of reflection and repentance, when we perform a cheshbon hanefesh (accounting of the soul) and examine our deeds over the past year.During the month of Elul, it is traditional to blow the shofar daily (except on Shabbat). … Continue reading The Month of Elul
You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from me in awhile. Well, I have been immersed in an extraordinary time of renewal... Health! It started in January, when I learned that I carry a common genetic mutation called MTHFR and began taking L-methylfolate, the simple cure. About a month after I started taking it, … Continue reading A genetic mutation, Yizkor Service, the Sound of Music, and more!
Parashat Acharei Mot begins by recalling the tragic deaths of Aaron's two sons, Nadav and Avihu: “The Eternal One spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they drew too close to the presence of the Eternal.” [Lev 16:1] Nadav and Avihu were apparently so overcome by the … Continue reading How Nadav & Avihu teach us restraint