Finding our value in the desert

Desert – Midbar. Parched earth. Scorching sun. Bitterly cold nights. Hardly conditions anyone would call inviting. Every time I start reading parashat Bamidbar I feel similarly not invited by the text to continue reading. Bamidbar is the first parasha of the Book of Numbers for a good reason. Truly, it has enough numbers to make […]

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If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant your rains in their season, so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees of the field their fruit. (Lev 26:3-4) Until the discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo most people believed that the sun circled a flat earth. There […]

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BEIT WARSZAWA INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

Lord, where shall I find you? Your place is lofty and secret. And where shall I not find you? The whole earth is full of your glory! You are found in our innermost heart, yet you fixed earth’s boundaries. You are a strong tower for those who are near and the trust of those who […]

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Parashat Acharei Mot-K’doshim 5778

This shall be for you a law for the ages, to effect atonement for the Children of Israel from all their sins, once a year.  And (Aharon) did as the Eternal commanded Moshe.  (Lev. 16:34) Virtually, the entire book of Leviticus imagines God speaking to Moses.  It is all instruction and no action.  One significant […]

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The double-portion of Tazria-Metzora (Lev 12:1 – 15:33) presents a series of ritual purity instructions for Israelite priests, starting with procedures for women who have recently given birth, and shifting to the rules priests must follow to identify, quarantine, inspect, and ultimately, readmit to the community people with an ancient skin disease called tzara’at. In my […]

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Jews with Purpose and Direction

Sometimes change comes upon us in a flood without warning. On other occasions, we are warned beforehand, but often we don’t take heed of that inner voice giving us the preverbal heads-up. If we are to succeed in our endeavours and our future, we would do well to pay close attention to those little warnings […]

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Let’s Clear Our Voices for Passover

Passover is on the way. Time to put away the hametz and get set for the “yumminess” provided by matzah. It’s not good enough to just avoid purchasing leavened goods; rather we must actively seek out any remnants of these items in the house and dispose of them. Or at the very least, loan them out. We […]

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Parashat Tzav

It’s wonderful having an office overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. When the weather is nice I sometimes skip lunch in favor of exploring the winding alleys of Jerusalem. It’s an opportunity for a bit of much needed exercise in addition to amazing people watching and window shopping. During one of these recent lunchtime outings […]

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This Shabbat has a special name. It is called Shabbat Ha-Chodesh, the Sabbath of The Month, the month being Nissan when we will celebrate the beginning of Jewish history, as we participate in the celebration of Passover, two weeks from now.  According to Tractate Rosh Hashanah of the Mishna Rosh Chodesh Nisan is one of […]

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There seems to be a growing gap between Israeli and Diaspora Jews – whether the issue is controversy over the egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, or over the attempts of the ultra-Orthodox rabbinate to gain a monopoly over conversions, or over the growing racism among sectors of the population. Was there ever a time […]

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