How do we respond to injustice? Does news of injustice affect us? Are we silent to the plight of agunot or to child abuse? Moshe only becomes our leader after showing his ability to feel the pain of others.
The Four Redemptions (והוצאתי, והצלתי, וגאלתי ולקחתי) are a Talmudic basis for the Arba Kosot at the Seder. Why is there an obligation to borrow or spend our last penny to fulfill this Mitzvah d'Rabbanan? Thoughts on Parshat Va'era and how there is no redemption without sacrifice.
Chazal suggest that the first Passover Seder took place with Lot and the angels in Sodom, and not in Egypt! What is the common thread in these seemingly unrelated narratives? Thoughts on the parsha and the vital need to speak out against the injustice of abuse.
God commands that the Manna, an important testament to His relationship with us, be placed in the Holy of Holies. Why would it be there and not in a public area of the Temple, where people can view it? Thoughts on Parshat Beshalach and the role of the Manna.
The Divine revelation on Sinai was an unprecedented experience, yet the holiness of that site was only momentary, as opposed to the Temple Mount, where holiness is eternal. Thoughts on Parshat Yitro and the role of human initiative in creating holiness.
A vision needs a plan; without it, it's just a fading dream. We must be inspired by a vision and committed to its implementation strategy. Thoughts from a wintery Jerusalem on Parshat Mishpatim and why actualizing big-picture ideals requires a focus on the details.
During COVID, the synagogue has been under attack, with attendance down nearly everywhere. Is that the metric for success? What can be done to improve the situation? Thoughts on P' Terumah & the Mishkan as a paradigmatic center for all aspects of Jewish life.
Why does the Torah require the Kohen to wear special vestments for the service in the Mishkan and Temple? Does God also have a "wardrobe"? Thoughts on Parshat Tetzaveh and God's search for a relationship with us. Will we make the most of this opportunity?
Jewish women's commitment to the future enabled the exodus from Egypt: the mirrors they used to make themselves attractive to their husbands were used to create the Kiyor (Laver) in the Mishkan. What is the connection between these mirrors & the Tabernacle’s ritual washing basin?
Fulfilling a mitzvah at the first opportunity is a core Jewish value. So why wait until Adar II to observe Purim? Thoughts on the connection between Purim and Pesach, how they represent two forms of redemption, and how their celebrations begin with caring for the other.
Can there be Avodat Hashem when we forget to treat the other with dignity? Stories from the Temple service that reflect upon such experiences and their consequences. Thoughts on Parshat Pekudei and how the first step in the performance of mitzvot must be derech eretz.