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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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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Shelach Lechah: Taking a Break to Breathe

This week’s Torah portion, or parsha, is called “Shelach Lechah,” meaning “send for yourself.” The Torah had just been given to the Israelites at the foot of Mt. Sinai as a gift from G-d on the high holy day of Shavuot. They now want to claim their Promised Land, so Moses sends twelve “spies” to […]

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Parsha Naso: How Am I Different?

This week’s Torah portion, or parsha, is Naso, which means “take up” and refers to taking a census of the Gershonites, a clan of the Israelite tribe of Levi, who will be responsible for certain tasks in the Tabernacle, the sanctuary they can pack up and carry along with them. In our parsha, there is […]

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Nothing Belongs To Us

Parsha Behar-Bechukotai has two sections. The first, Behar, deals primarily with the rules and regulations pertaining to the land of Israel. We read of the sabbatical (Shmitta) years, in which the land was to lie fallow one out of every seven years, and relate this to observing Shabbat each week. We also read that there […]

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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 Metzora: finding community in silence

This parsha, portion, Metzora, the one who suffers tzara’at, skin afflictions, is a difficult parsha for me. I needed to find a meaningful approach to the rules of separation from the community by those with skin afflictions, usually translated as leprosy. I started to try to find a hidden meaning in the rules of separation, […]

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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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Ki Tisa: Finding Pride in Humility

This parsha, meaning portion, Ki Tisa, translates to the lifting of heads, as in taking a census. It is among the most important and fundamental parshat in the Torah and is quite long. Ki Tisa discusses Moses’s journey up Mount Sinai, the receiving of the Ten Commandments, the creation of the golden calf and Moses […]

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