Parsha Lech L’cha: Listening to the Feminine Torah

Hello and welcome to my Torah thoughts. This shabbat we read the third parsha (Torah portion) in the bible.  It is called Lech l’cha, and it means, “Go to yourself.” If you recall from the end of the previous parsha, Avram’s father led the family away from their home town and they got as far as Charan where Terach (Avram’s father) settled and eventually died. Now, haShem (god) tells Avram, “Lech l’cha,” or, Go to yourself.  The verse continues with … Continue reading

Parsha Noah: The Right Way of Doing Torah

Once again, it is time for my Torah thoughts on the parsha (weekly Torah portion).  This week’s parsha is called Noach (Noah), which means rest, and is named after our famous flood-faring captain, Noach. Our story begins with us being told that Noach was a tzadik (a righteous person) and innocent/simple/whole in his generations, and that he walked with haShem (god). After we are told of Noach’s three sons, we learn that all flesh on the world was corrupt and … Continue reading

Parsha Breisheit: Torah – Breisheit (Beginning or Ending)?

Hello and welcome to the beginning. Or is it the ending? I ask this question because when something begins, the actual beginning is one end of that something. Now you can take two ends of something and put them together, but this creates a seam, and what you really have a two separate ends connected. In the Jewish family tradition, beginnings (and endings) or not looked at in quite the same way. There is more of a blending.  For example, … Continue reading

Parsha v’Zot haBracha: A Torah Family Moment

Good to see that you-all have made it to the fun side of the high holy-days.  This week we finish up with our new year celebrations, and we also finish reading the fifth and final book that our man Moshe (Moses) transcribed.  Our final parsha (weekly Torah portion), which we read this Thursday (if you are inside Israel and on Friday everywhere else), is called v’Zot haBracha which means, “And this is the blessing.” Why is our parsha called this?  … Continue reading

Succot – Waving the 4 Types of People

Congratulations on making it through the judgements of Rosh haShannah and the purification work of Yom Kippor.  Now it is time to celebrate all our hard work with a week-long holy days called Succot. Succot is strange for holy days.  For one thing we are required to be joyous.  If we aren’t then we are not fulfilling the mitzvah (commandment/connection). Another strange thing is that we are required to take a specific citrus fruit (called and Etrog), a Palm front, … Continue reading

Yom Kippor: What in the World are We Trying to Do?

Friday night starts the holy day of Yom Kippur.  When I was young, and until about 10 years ago, Yom Kippur was an uncomfortable day filled with droning prayers and empty stomachs… and no idea of what I was trying to accomplish or why. Today is a different story.   As the sun sets Friday night and the powerful strains of Kol Nidre start, I understand part of what Yom Kippur is about and how to accomplish it. Simply put, Yom … Continue reading