On November 1, 2018 I gave a talk on Authentic Identities at Elon University, where I serve as the Campus Rabbi. The talk was shortly after the horrible events in Kentucky and Pittsburgh. I shared my story and journey of becoming a Jew and a rabbi. I talked about the racism I face in the Jewish community, antisemitism and our current political rhetoric. I hope you enjoy this special episode.
In honor of Rosh Hodesh. I am dedicating this week's Minutes of Torah to all the women who have felt silenced
Welcome to Episode 59 of Hineni Jewish Prayer. Today we will focus on the prayer that is often called the bathroom blessing. Thanking God for allowing one to do their business in the morning. I don't see this blessing as simple a bathroom blessing. I see it as a blessing thanking God for creating me exactly who I am.
This week we are in the Torah Portion Vayeira. My plan for today was to continue our conversation on faith but something jumped out at me as I was reading this week’s torah portion. So today we will talk about faith and Justice.
I love it when my Jewish anniversary falls on the Torah Portion Noah. In 2004 I converted on the October 13th and the Torah Portion for that week was Noach. So there is a special place in my heart for this week’s Torah portion.
We learn that Human beings are created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. What a concept and probably the most important idea in the Torah we are all created in the image of God. To be created in God’s image is not just about the Awesomeness power of God it is also a statement of responsibility about the way we are to treat others. Do we see God in others? Do we recognize that all people are created in the image of God?
One of the things that I love about the weekly Torah portion is that so often when I need a passage to speak to me about what is happening in our world today the words are there on the page and they jump out out at me. This week we are in the Torah portion Chukat.
This coming shabbat is the start of passover we also call this holiday zman cherutainu - זְמָן חֵרוּתֵנוּ - a time of our freedom.
This week week we are in the the Torah portion Tzav. And I want to talk about giving thanks. In this week’s torah portion We learn that one who offers a Korban aka sacrifice for the purpose of giving thanks must eat that Korban on the day when it is offered and none of it shall be set aside until morning.
What does is your purpose in life? Are you called to something ?
Joseph is someone who dared to be different and he dared to dream big. In what ways are you like Joseph?
We are often reminded of the awesomeness of God in the spectacular moments in our lives and those are moments when we may find ourselves especially open to a connection with God
But it's also possible to experience God's presence in the mundane everyday moments of our lives. And then like Jacob we can exclaim "God is in this place"
There is a lot happening in this week’s Torah Portion. Do you have a sibling? Are you rivals? Check out this week’s podcast.