Nitzavim: Listening to the Still, Small Voice Inside

We are one week away from Rosh Hashanah, a time of spiritual reckoning. Our parsha, or Torah portion, this week is Nitzavim, meaning “ones standing.” In the parsha, Moses tells the Israelites that all the people stood before G-d to enter into the covenant. What would it be like to imagine ourselves standing before G-d […]

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Ki Tavo: Breathing Through Struggle

The name of this week’s parsha, or Torah portion, is Ki Tavo, which means “when you enter.” In this parsha, Moses lays out for the Jewish people the rituals they should observe when they enter the Promised Land. The various rituals all have a common theme: honoring the history of the Jewish people, and all that G-d […]

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Shoftim: Finding Clarity in the Fog

This week’s torah portion, or parsha, is called shoftim, Hebrew for “judges.” Before he dies, Moses delivers a final speech to the Israelites, including a review of a justice system with the appointment of judges and law enforcers in every city. He specifies the importance of examining all crimes with careful inquiry, and avoiding bias […]

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Parsha Chukat: Breathing Through Our Patterns

This week’s parsha, or weekly Torah portion, is Chukat, which can be roughly translated as “decree.” In this parsha, the Israelites are still wandering through the desert when the sister of Aaron and Moses, Miriam, suddenly passes away. In the waterless desert in the aftermath of Miriam’s death, the Israelites struggle to survive, and G-d instructs […]

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Parsha B’har: Breathing Before We Speak

Parsha B’har, the Torah portion translating to “On The Mounstain,” covers a dramatic narrative of behavior for the Israelites regarding the aspects of the Shmitah year, or the fallow time after seven years of farming. The land must be given a ‘Sabbath,’ just as we must observe Sabbath every seventh day. This parsha also outlines […]

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Parsha Tzav: The ‘How’ of Worship

This parsha, portion, Tzav, meaning “command,” is a challenging parsha as it mostly addresses sacrifices and other priestly concerns, and therefore doesn’t make an easy opening into spiritual or moral discussions. While reading this portion, I had to seek a path that would be relevant to our meditation practice, as a kavannah, or intention. I […]

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Parsha Pekudei: Finding G-d in the Details

The name of this week’s Torah portion, Pekudei, means “accounts,” and refers to the listing of the materials used to build the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary in which G-d will dwell while the Israelites are in the wilderness. This week’s Torah portion is the last in the book of Exodus, and in it, the Tabernacle […]

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Parsha Mishpatim: Getting Our Shit Together

Parsha Mishpatim is a series of laws for the people of Israel. In Hebrew, Mishpatim means “laws”.It contains 53 mitzvot, 23 imperative commandments, and 30 prohibitions. Mitzva stems from the root tzvata, which means attachment, and refers to creating a bond between G-d and oneself. Most of the commandments are about how to treat slaves, […]

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Parsha Vayechi: Accepting Ourselves, Blessing Ourselves

This week’s Torah portion is one of the shortest, and it marks the end of the story of Jacob, Joseph, and his brothers. Jacob lives in Egypt for his last seventeen years. Before he passes, he asks Joseph to take an oath to bury him in the Holy Land. Jacob wants to reveal the end […]

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Parsha Chayei Sarah: Chesed in Brooklyn

This week’s Torah portion, or parsha, is called Chayei Sarah, meaning “the life of Sarah”, is so named because its first few words tell us that Sarah lived 127 years. The Torah portion then proceeds with the story of Sarah and her husband Abraham’s family. One section of the portion tells us that Abraham sent […]

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