Counting the Days…

No, not of isolation, but of the days until we stand again at Sinai to receive the bounty of Torah. (versions for ארץ and חו״ל. Feel free to share, copy, print...count!)

Spell, Psalm and Solace

It was a glorious wedding! We’ve known the bride since the days when we would race her parents to be the second-to-last to pick up our kids from daycare. On Sunday evening, there was lots of dancing, lots of hugging, crying, singing, eating and ...

Why Talmud?

Last time, I wrote about the what of Daf Yomi, the 7.5 year cycle of daily exposure to our epic work of rabbinic exploration, the Talmud. Just over a week into it, I realize that I left out something vital: the why of Talmud, as in “why not Tanach H ...

Daily Dose

Imagine you get this prescription: One daf q.d. for seven-and-a-half years. You might ask: What is it? Why should I take it? Is it covered? When should I take it? Any contraindications with my current meds?    A daf a day is known as "Daf Yomi," and it re ...

Endings

Most of us never hear the end of the Torah: the last two chapters of Devarim / Deuteronomy are read only on Simchat Torah morning. I’ve been in shul every Simchat Torah morning for as long as I can remember. Yet I was surprised this year by the three end ...

Ekev 5779

Enough “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” President Donald Trump on Tuesday. On Wednesday: “I think if you vote for a Democrat, you are very, very disloyal to Is ...

va’etchanan 5779

Tu b’Av Destruction, lamentation and exile — the major (in minor mode) motifs of Tish’a b’Av, the ninth day of the month of Av. Both of the ancient Holy Temples were destroyed on that day, and many other calamities in Jewish history are pegged to 9 Av ...

B’haalotecha 5779

Second Chances The Jewish Day of Second Chances is a Torah-mandated opportunity. If you were unable to observe the Pesach sacrifice at the original time, say because you were traveling or were ritually impure, you are expected to participate in the ri ...

Bereishit 5779

What a Story! Simchat Torah morning, after hakafot (a couple of which were done with our preschoolers carrying toy Torahs and flags, clutching lollipops) and Torah reading, the scrolls returned to the ark… “Thank you to the Shirat Hayam Literary As ...

Mishpatim 5778

Seething In this week’s Torah reading, God says to the Israelites: “No boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk.” Simple enough, no? Yet look where that seemingly simple statement has led us: (at least) two sets of dishes for daily use, two sets of ...