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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Parsha Terumah: Building Our Internal Mishkan

This week’s parsha, or Torah portion, comes from the book of Exodus and is called Terumah, which can be roughly translated as “an offering.” In this parsha, G-d instructs Moses to tell the Israelites to build a Mishkan, a sacred sanctuary in which G-d can dwell and that the Hebrew people can transport through the […]

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Reflections on September 11

September 11, 2011 Ten years ago today I was a college student and lived in the East Village. After the first plane hit the World Trade Center, a friend called and told me to look outside. Then my TV and phone lines went out. Running to school, the only place I thought felt safe, I […]

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Counting On Us – Parsha Bamidbar

This week’s Torah portion, Bamidbar, literally translating to “in the desert” begins the book of Numbers, a collection of stories pertaining to the children of Israel during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The book gets it’s name from the events that open the book a little over two years after the events […]

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Malachai, Mary Magdalene, and Love

“I have loved you, but yet you keep asking how I have loved you!” Said God. Thus opens the second line of Chapter 1 of Malachai, this week’s Haftorah portion. Upon first reading, the Haftorah is standard prophet-fare. The Jewish people – and the Jewish priests in the temple – are behaving badly, disconnected from […]

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Love, meditatively.

What does it mean to love or find love as part of your spiritual path? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, mostly about my extreme aversion to approaching love in any sort of rational way. What makes sense to me is that if you live your life in a contemplative way, if you […]

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