By the time you read this message, I hope it is out-of-date.
· I hope that the hostages who have been kidnapped by the murderous savages of Hamas have been rescued and are home with their families.
· I hope that Hamas has been destroyed. (more…)
In the very first chapter of the Bible, there is a verse that may be the most important verse in the whole Bible, or anywhere. It says that every single human being is created in the image of G-d.
This sounds so simple, right?
And yet, if everyone believed this and looked at all other human beings as equals, this world would be a very different place. (more…)
In many cultures and societies around the world and far back into antiquity, the word used to describe this most treasured season is derived entirely from a description of its weather. Is that all the summer is about? Heat? One could certainly argue that heat is the dominant feature of the summer. I’d like to believe that summer is about so much more than just the heat. (more…)
The Festival of Shavuot certainly does not have the
powerful observances of other festivals, dwelling in
booths on Sukkot or eating matzah on Passover.
Nonetheless, it has developed its own observances. We
eat dairy foods. A lot of us eat blintzes, (about
1000 calories a bite, so it is best you eat it
only once a year.) On Shavuot we read
the book of Ruth, the beautiful story of
a Moabite woman who cast her lot
with the Jewish people. “Your people
will be my people; your G-d will be my
There is a tendency to bewail the fact that today’s children have no heroes. Or, if they do, their heroes are only the celebrities who have achieved notoriety rather than worthiness.
The coming of Passover reminds me that apparently Judaism does not believe in heroes. We see that Moses is not mentioned in the Haggadah. We also ought to note that while Judah the Maccabee, like Moses, delivered our people, and rescued us against enormous odds, Judah is similarly uncelebrated in Jewish literature. The Talmud makes no reference to him or to his remarkable defeat of the powerful Syrian-Greek Empire. (more…)
Does G-d Have Hands?
On the walls of our Sanctuary, there are the first Hebrew words of the Torah (on the right), about G-d’s creation of the world, and the last Hebrew words (on the left), the last verse from Deuteronomy, that speaks of G-d’s power and miracles. The Torah expresses the idea of G-d’s awesome power with the idiom הַיּדָ הַגְּ ֹ דלָה hayyad hagedolah, the great hand). But what does this mean? Does this mean that G-d has hands? (more…)
I’ve been asked many times, “What does Judaism say about miracles?” Traditionally, miracles are understood to be a theophany, when G-d shows up and intervenes in our lives to change destiny. Whether it’s cracking open the sky to flood the world, or bringing forth manna like dew upon the field, miracles, it has been thought, are G-d’s works in a human world. The Exodus is full of miracles, in its demonstrations of G-d’s power through the plagues, or G-d’s redemptive force by splitting the sea. (more…)