Succot: Why Now???

We are about to enter into the holy days of Succot (tabernacles) and I thought I would share a few words on the topic.  When I was in Israel, I heard a lot of talk regarding these holy days as to the meaning of the 4 species of trees that we wave, and with the meaning of the succah itself.  At the beginning of one Succot in Israel, a different type of question came to me.  Why does Succot happen … Continue reading

Parsha Haazinu: Torah and Parenting

Hello everybody, This Shabbat we read the torah portion (parsha) which is the song that haShem (god) told Moshe (Moses) to teach to the people.  As with most songs, this one is very poetic.  The parsha is entitled, “My ears,” which is the first significant word in the parsha, and it starts with a request to listen to the words about to come.  God is perfect and just, problems come from the children.  (Stay with me folks; I know to … Continue reading

Yom Kippor: A Time To Answer To Your Soul

Hello everybody, This was originally written on October 11, 2005.  However, it is still relevant today and I hope gives you a fresh and more joyful perspective on what Yom Kippor is really about. Well here it is, the evening before Yom Kippor.  I wasn’t planning on writing anything for the day, but during yeshiva (a school for the study of Torah) today, as we talked about the day, I realized that I did have some thoughts I wanted to … Continue reading

Parsha Vayelech: The Torah of Change

Hello and welcome to the days of returning. We are now in the 10 days between Rosh haShanah (head of change in Hebrew) and Yom Kippor (Hebrew for day of atonement.  It is also called Yom haKipporim which means:  the day like Purim).  These 10 days are called days of repentance, however the Hebrew word for repentance, tshuvah, really means an answer or a return.  You see, on Rosh haShanah we invoked the beginning of change.  Now we are in … Continue reading

Rosh Hashanah: A Special Torah for the Holy Days

Hello everyone, As today is erev Rosh haShanah (the day before the Jewish new year), I thought I would share a few thoughts.  A study partner of mine a couple of years ago observed that most people call Rosh haShanah, “Judgment day,” and when you think of a judgement day, you think of somber clothes and going to court and fear of what the verdict will be.  However, we look at Rosh haShanah as a day of joy and celebration … Continue reading

Parsha Nitzavim: The Pink Floyd Torah

Hello everybody, It is almost Rosh haShanah and I wish you were here. 🙂 The parsha (weekly Torah portion) we we are reading this week is called Nitzavim, which is Hebrew for, “To stand,” and the parsha begins with Moshe (Moses) telling us how everyone, from the highest elder, to the wood-cutter and water-carrier is standing today before haShem (god) in order to pass into the covenant and become a nation for god, and have haShem be our god/power.  Moshe … Continue reading

Parsha Key Tavoh: To Fear or to Fear

The parsha (Torah portion) we read this week is quite a doozy.  After being told, in earlier parshas, to remove the inhabitants of the holy land because they behaved poorly, we are now told what will happen to us if we behave poorly.  It is not pleasant, but then I am getting ahead of myself.  The parsha starts off innocently enough with the description of the ritual of bringing the first fruits to the temple.  It then goes on to … Continue reading