30 Kislev 5780

December 27, 2019 Ever wonder why we are called Jews and not Hebrews? We started as Ivrim – Hebrews, from the word “ever“, meaning the other side of the river. But somewhere along the way, we became Yehudim – Jews – in honor of Judah, only number four among the twelve sons of Jacob, but the undisputed number one leader of the…

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23 Kislev 5780

December 20, 2019– Do you believe in angels? Are you an angel? If you ask the average Jew one will tell you that angels are a something Christians believe in—not Jews. But they would be wrong. Perhaps it’s because of the stereotype of angels we’ve seen from medieval and renaissance art with angels as sexless creatures with…

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16 Kislev 5780

December 13, 2019 (This week’s d’var Torah is an interpretation of a sermon by Rabbi Jonathan Sachs of England – I wish you a wonderful Shabbat as I will be in Chicago attending the URJ Biennial.)We see in this week’s Torah portion, Vayishlach (Genesis 32:4-36:43), the story of Jacob’s wrestling match with an unnamed adversary, alone at…

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9 Kislev 5780

The beautiful story of Jacob’s dream, in which he sees a ladder reaching from earth all the way to heaven, with God’s angels streaming up and down upon it, is found in this week’s Torah portion, Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3).  Less noticed is the story of Jacob’s meeting with angels that closes our portion. After Jacob endures a…

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