18 Iyar 5781 – 33rd Day of the Omer

April 30, 2021 As a product of our Reform camping system, I have had since childhood a fascination and a fondness for archery. One of my earliest memories, probably from about the time I was fourteen years old, attending the URJ Greene Family in Bruceville, Texas, searching through shrubs and small trees with my counselor…

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11 Iyar 5781

April 23, 2021 I learned this joke many years ago as I was studying the nuances of the Yiddish language: Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin, had just died and the communist party was looking for a fitting inscription for his tombstone.  Remarkably, a Jew came up with the  perfect inscription: “Beauty, Purity, and Sacrifice.”  Fellow Jews…

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4 Iyar 5781

April 16, 2021 This week’s double Torah reading of Tazria and Metzorah (Leviticus 12:1-15:33) run high on the “least favorite portions of the year” list. They talk in detail about Tzara’at, discolorations of the skin, clothing, or even the walls of one’s house. Sometimes those blemishes fit certain criteria and could be classified as an…

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27 Nisan 5781

April 9, 2021 Our Torah reading this week contains one of the most infamous stories in the Torah, the tragic deaths of Nadav and Avihu in Parashat Shemini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47). As always, the question is, what does this story have to teach us today? The portion starts off upbeat: the Tabernacle in the desert was…

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20 Nisan 5781

April 2, 2021 This Shabbat, we celebrate the end of Passover as well as remember our loved ones with Yizkor tomorrow morning. One of the texts we read at the end of this festival is from the prophetic book of Isaiah, “The wolf shall lie down with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the…

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