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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VaYishlach: Releasing our Inner Israel

This parsha, or Torah portion, VaYishlach, which means to drive out or release, tells the story of the reuniting of Yaakov (Jacob) and his brother Esau, and, more specifically, describes the transformation of Yaakov to  Yisrael (Israel), meaning the one who has struggled with the Divinity–and humanity–and prevailed. Yaakov spends the night before his reunion […]

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Chukat: To Sit With Suffering

This week’s Torah portion, Chukat, meaning decree, is filled with suffering. It begins with the ritual law for purification after a person comes in contact with someone who has died, including the strange ritual involving the red heifer. Then Miriam dies. Afterwards, the Israelites suffer from thirst and their own inner turmoil as they wrestle […]

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Parsha Bamidbar: Finding Our Clans

With this week’s parsha, or torah portion, Bamidbar, which means “in the desert”, we begin the fourth book of the Torah, the Book of Numbers. Numbers recounts the Israelites’ forty-year journey through the wilderness. During this time the generation that had been enslaved dies and a new generation matures. This physical journey through the wilderness […]

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Parsha Tzav: Jumping In

This week’s parsha, or weekly Torah portion, is Tzav, which means “command.” In this parsha, G-d provides Moses with instructions, or commandments, to impart to Aaron and Aaron’s sons, who will officially become the kohanim, or priests, of the community after their ordination. These commandments include making sure that the altar’s flame is perpetually burning, and […]

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Parsha Ki Tisa: Loosening Our Necks

This week’s parsha, or weekly Torah portion, is Ki Tisa, which translates to “when you shall take.” In this parsha, Moses ascends Mount Sinai, where G-d inscribes two Tablets with the Ten Commandments. Moses is gone for forty days and nights, and the Israelites become impatient and fearful because of Moses’ long absence. They demand […]

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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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Parsha Yitro – Trusting Others and Ourselves

In this week’s parsha, or torah portion, we find the Israelites in the desert near Mount Sinai with Yitro, or Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. He has heard all about G-d’s kindness to the Israelites up until this point and he gathers Moses’s wife and children to join the chosen nation. Moses gathers a welcoming committee to […]

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Thanksgiving Meditation

There is a built-in sense of indebtedness in the consciousness of man, an awareness of owing gratitude, or being called upon at certain moments to reciprocate, to answer, to live in a way which is compatible with the grandeur and mystery of living.  – Abraham Joshua Heschel One of the reasons I love holidays is […]

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Bereshit: When “Good” Really is “Good Enough”

Bereshit, meaning “In the Beginning,” is the very first chapter of the Torah, and is chock full of some of the most famous stories in the Bible — maybe even the world. We start with the creation of the universe, Earth, and everything on it (seas, land, plant, animals, humans). From there, we read about […]

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