Parsha T’tzaveh: Clothing Makes the Man

Hello everyone, Once again it is time for our visit with the week’s parsha (Torah portion).  This week’s parsha is called T’tzveh which can mean you will command and/or you will join.  The parsha starts with haShem (god) talking to Moshe (moses) and saying, “atah t’tzveh” or, “You will command/connect the children of Yisrael and they will take to you pure pressed olive oil for lighting the eternal candle.”  Someone, once pointed out to me that this is a unique … Continue reading

The Lottery is Coming (Your Chance to Win)

Trick question alert:  What is the holiest day in the Jewish year?  If you say it is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, you are wrong.  The answer is Purim. “Purim?”  I hear you ask,  “How can a day that requires us to get drunk be holier than the day of atonement?”  Ok, maybe the drunks aren’t asking – they probably already know the answer.  But for the rest of us, let me share with you a little secret:  our … Continue reading

Parsha Trumah: Project Management (Part 2)

What strikes me as I read this week’s parsha (weekly Torah portion) was how I have been seen the first two books of the Torah:  Genesis (Breshiet in Hebrew) and Exodus (Shmot in Hebrew).  In Breshiet I found myself seeing some little aspect within a parsha, while in Shmot I am finding much larger themes; themes that exist over many parshas.  I don’t know why that is.  At the moment, I just find it an interesting observation.  If anybody out … Continue reading

What is a Jew?

I am not a Jew. What a shocking thing for me to say considering my last name is Cohen and I went to Israel to study Torah in orthodox yeshivas. However, the name Cohen is the give-away: I am from the tribe of Levi, not the tribe of Judah. Now, some of you might think I am being nit-picky about this. And some of you might be wondering what I am talking about. So, let me try to explain. Once … Continue reading

Parsha Mishpatim: The Torah on Project Management

I almost wasn’t going to write anything for this week’s parsha (weekly Torah portion) because I didn’t have any new ideas coming to me as I was reading. Then, in the morning, haShem (god/dess) blessed me with a clue as to one thing that last week and this week’s parshas, together, might be trying to teach us. This week’s parsha is filled mostly with laws, actions and consequences, so it is a very practical one. And why not? After all … Continue reading

We are Family (more than a song)

What are Jews? Are we a race or are we a religion? The second question always follows the first question as if its answer is the answer to what Jews are. Those who say we are a race are refuted by the fact that the Jewish people are made up of so many different races of people. Those who say we are a religion are refuted by the fact we have so many Jewish Buddhists and Jewish atheists and Jewish … Continue reading

(parsha Yitro/Jethro) – Torah: The Ten Whatever-They-Are

Hi everybody, Hope you all are in good spirits this week. In this week’s parsha (Torah portion), we finally make it to Mount Sinai and have the most amazing high: we all get to hear the Creator of the Universe speak to us. And this is what she said: I am haShem (the 4 letter name of god meaning: what was, is, and will be – the master of everything) your god, who has taken you out of the land … Continue reading

Love Cannot Contain God

I hear a lot of people say they believe that love is god.  So I started to think about it.  What if god was love?  If I believe that god created the universe, then I am saying that nothing but love created the universe.  Now, this sounds great at first.  Until I started looking around at the world, and seeing how amazing it is, started to feel grateful to be able to see.  And to walk around.  And to have … Continue reading