"Not 1, Not 2, Not 3": How we count people for communal events highlights the challenge from Sefer Bamidbar to balance our affiliation and commitment to community with the values of individualism, creativity and our capacity to bring our unique talents to the world.
Kohanim & the kehilah must be engaged during Birkat Kohanim (the kehilah answering "Amen" to each blessing) because mutual engagement is vital for these blessings, especially the blessing of peace. Thoughts Israel's current war on terror & vigilantism against Jews & Arabs.
Terrorist rocket-fire, civil unrest between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and a spike in antisemitic acts across the world have put the Jewish community on edge. How will we react to these existential challenges? Come and explore the lessons of the trumpets and shofar.
It can be difficult to connect meaningfully to rituals on an ongoing basis. What can we do to create an environment where Jewish practices empower our spirit & speak to us in the here and now? Thoughts on the need to be personally, proactively invested in fulfilling the mitzvot.
When we face setbacks or difficult ordeals, we try hard to put them behind us. But while that may help to temporarily ease our pain, there is another challenging but rewarding path that we can take, instead: transforming them into means of redemption.
Far too often, life is so hectic that we lose focus on the larger narratives of our existence: Why are we here? What can we do to give meaning to our relatively short time on earth? Thoughts on Parshat Chukat and answers from the esoteric laws of ritual purity.
What Rav Soloveitchik learned from his unsuccessful candidacy for Chief Rabbi of the city of Tel Aviv in 1935 and his drasha of a vision not yet fulfilled. Thoughts on the blessing of "Mah Tovu Ohalecha Yaakov" and the need for unity without uniformity.