Sermons & Divrei Torah

Achare Mot: “I Can DO It Myself!”

Achare Mot: “I Can DO It Myself!”

Years ago Joan Collins did a commercial for Jack LaLane Fitness Centers. She asked her butler to bring her her shoes and gym bag. When he asked if perhaps he should exercise for her, she replied, “There are some things one must do for one’s self.”

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Vayetze: 50 Years Later

Vayetze: 50 Years Later

This Shabbat marks 50 years since I read the haftarah for Vayetze at my Friday night bat mitzvah at B’nai Torah in Trumbull, CT. Where has the time gone? Who could have imagined that 50 years later I’d be a rabbi, have been married–and be a mother–more than half of my life?

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Vayera: Putting God On Hold

Vayera: Putting God On Hold

This week’s Torah reading, Vayera, opens with: Vayera ay-lav Ado-nai bay-lonay Mamray v’hu yoshev petakh ha-ohel b’khom hayom, “And God appeared to him (Abraham) by the groves of Mamre; he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day.”

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The Shmita year, Rosh Hashanah 5782, Day 2

There are very few things in life that don’t seem better after a good night’s sleep, or even after a nap. While not everyone wakes up in the morning ready to bounce out of bed and start the day–and I so appreciate the invention of the snooze button–the scientific...

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Mental Health, Rosh Hashanah Day 1, 5782

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld does a standup routine about the Olympic Games, and speaks about the silver medal, and how he’d almost rather come in last than win silver; “It’s like, congratulations, you almost won.” He points out in that in some of the contests, such as...

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Nitzavim: What Difference Will We Make?

Nitzavim: What Difference Will We Make?

In this week’s Torah reading, Nitzavim, Moses speaks to the assembled Israelies, nitzavim hayom kul’chem lifnay Ado-nai elo-haychem… l’ov-r’kha biv’rit Ado-nai elo-hecha “standing here today, together, in front of the Lord your God, to enter into the covenant with the Lord your God.”

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Seeing and Appearing

How one person understands something may be different than the person standing next to them. We each “see” things through our own unique lenses, even though we’re all looking at the same thing.

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Latest Sermons

Kedoshim: How Are We Holy?
Kedoshim: How Are We Holy?

What does it mean to be kadosh, “holy,” or “sanctified”? I always used to think it meant “elevated,” or somehow, “better than” something or someone else. Dictionary.com would certainly have you believe that, but the Hebrew word, kadosh, means “to be set apart.” A...

Achare Mot: “I Can DO It Myself!”
Achare Mot: “I Can DO It Myself!”

Photo credit: Flickr.com, Kenny Holston, Whiteman fitness center Achare Mot: "I Can Do It Myself!" Years ago Joan Collins did a commercial for Jack LaLane Fitness Centers. She asked her butler to bring her her shoes and gym bag. When he asked if perhaps he should...

Life: The Luck Of The Draw
Life: The Luck Of The Draw

Image credit: pinging.com A few weeks ago, towards the end of Talmud Tractate Megilla, I wrote about various sages in the Talmud who lived to “old age,” whatever that meant 2,000 years ago, and to what they attributed their longevity. I noted my chuckle over one...

Latest Midrash HaZak

Ki Tissa: Aging and Reconciliation
Ki Tissa: Aging and Reconciliation

Image Credit: circunda-tederosas.blogspot Ki Tissa: Aging and Reconciliation by Anita Silvert “When the people saw that Moses was so long coming down from the mountain, the people gathered against Aaron and said to him, ‘Come, make us a god who shall go before us, for...

Re’eh: See the Blessing

Image: Nahant Sunrise from image.org Re’eh: See the Blessing by Dr. Nechama Liss-Levinson The portion Re’eh, chock full of statutes and commandments, begins with the word re’eh, sometimes translated as “behold,” but I prefer the translation “see.” And what are we...

Yitro: Ink Blots On The Paper Of Life
Yitro: Ink Blots On The Paper Of Life

ch, Beshalach, Yitro: Ink Blots On The Paper Of Life Rabbi Tamar Crystal Elisha Ben Abuya taught: “When a person studies as a child to what may he be compared? To ink written on fresh paper. When a person studies when he is old to what may he be compared? To ink...

Latest Personal Blogs

Blessing My Bended Knees-A Poem
Blessing My Bended Knees-A Poem

This past week, I participated in a Ritualwell class with Alden Solovy on "Writing From One Word of Torah." I distilled 3 stream-of-consciousness prompts on the word "Baruch/Berekh," the root of which can mean "blessing' and "knee, into this poem. Blessing my bended...

The Eshet Hayil In Our Lives
The Eshet Hayil In Our Lives

Photo: publicdomainpictures.net The Eshet Hayil In Our Lives An email from My Jewish Learning about “A Woman of Valor” prompted me to pivot the next evening’s planned adult learning session to looking at these 22 verses from Mishlei, the Book of Proverbs. These verses...

Live Long and Prosper?
Live Long and Prosper?

By Oklahoma Heritage Association, Gaylord-Pickens Museum - Author, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25656727 Live Long and Prosper? January 5, 2022 began the third year of the seven and a half-year cycle of Daf Yomi, the practice of...

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