On my watch
If I had Jacob's dream, I would not have been able to go back to sleep, and, I'd like to believe that I would have responded to the historic promises rather than make a conditional promise emphasizing bread and clothes. I would expect a "Thank You," from Jacob, instead of falling asleep and then playing "Let's Make A Deal,"
Moses was stuck outside the Tabernacle with the people who built it. He understood at that moment the message of the Half Shekel, or, my fifty cents. He was not standing as the great Moses or the awesome Moses who could meet with God in Heaven. He stood outside as one of the people who all contributed a Half Shekel, fifty cents. It was at that moment that Moses became the most humble of men. I can almost hear the coins jingling in his pocket.
Learning to give THANKS and preparing ourselves for Pesach.
Our Matzah is not Shmurah if we are unconcerned with those who have nothing to eat, or no Seder to join.
Jacob was sending a message to his family and to us: Esau was of sufficient stature to merit angels to greet him. Jacob's years in the house of the scoundrel Laban taught him how to view his brother from a different perspective. He began to appreciate Esau's greatness,
Jacob did not have problems with 'doorways.' He experienced one emotional earthquake after another, and managed to maintain focus. No 'event boundary' issues for our hero. How did he do it?
The questions about appropriate clothing should not begin with the externals, thecostumes, but with our inner lives, our growth, aspirations, beliefs; what do we see when we look at our souls?
Chag Sameach-Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut and Shabbat Shalom
A devar torah you can 'count on.' Shabbat Shalom from the Foundation Stone
We can achieve if we only reconnect to that belief that we can succeed only when we reach beyond ourselves rather than hide behind walls of fear-- and hesitation.
Torah is to be taught as healing, as a relationship, as nurturing. It is this Torah I love and that gives me life.
Balak was furious. Balaam was defeated in his mind by a greater prophet, Moses, who would record Balaam's words and shame for eternity, despite not being present at the performances. Rather than perform his blessings or curses, Balaam projected a picture of the future with his ideas in it; he offers his vision of the End of Days (14) with all his hints to Israel's future failings hidden within his words of praise.
This week's portion, Re'ei, speaks of our need for a sense of place, how difficult it often is to find, and how we must protect others' sense of place. It also guides us in how to manage the experience of no place
Yes, things change, sometimes too quickly to comprehend, unless we realize that all the Sh'vilei Emunah, Paths of Faith, offer opportunities to explore new paths and discover how each can take us back to Sinai.
When we are driven out of our complacency by a wrong we don't know what the perfect world will look like. We only know that we can't allow the world as it stands to continue. The need to leave home is clearer to us than our destination. Lekh Lekha.
We glorify God, not in numbers, but in expansiveness. We too, are bringing our First Fruits when we're not busy battling each other over what is ours or who speaks the truth. Our Bikkurim begin with affording room for people to explore and grow.
" Nachamu, Nachamu, is not a repetition, but a Song of Act Two--uf new beginnings and of hope.
The primary quality of anyone judging another is that the judge first know how to judge himself. If he cannot honestly examine his own behavior, how can he possibly judge someone else's?
Each prayer, Shabbat, Torah study and Mitzvah offer us, in our imperfections, to connect with the Eternal. Jacob insists that we first reject the shame we've carried since Adam and Eve, and understand that there is a place in Paradise even for the imperfect.
Absolute truth is dangerous in the hands of people who do not realize how much they do not know. Just as I cringe when someone declares that he knows the reason for the Holocaust, I shudder when people authoritatively declare people they don't know to be heretics and sinners. Knowing that I don't know opens the door to listening and learning, an opportunity to discover more about God, people, and me.
The challenge of these Three Weeks leading to Tisha b'Av? Learning to see the hope beyond the suffering,developing the vision of a healed world, so that we too can find the right words in our mouths to share our vision
Balaam, the dedicated thespian, could not overpower the prophecy of Moses because Moses was not a performer. Moses saw his role as building the stage on which his people, present and future, would perform.
Understanding time, tefillin, and Torah and how they inexorably lead to: Empowerment
In this week's portion, the man, having been officially declared impure, is now ready for the end of his nightmare beginning his process of purification--on the sidelines.
God hears, and responds. God hears our prayers, and in so doing, gives voice to a powerful message of love. Can you hear it?
A nation lacking a consistent message will not flourish, and will ultimately lose its sense of safety and elevation. Even a beautifully motivated desire must be measured by its affect on the future.
Could Judah really expect the Viceroy to grasp his subtle threats & insults when translated? He didn't.
The magic of Sinai began when the people camped "with unified hearts and minds" facing Sinai. A single camp of shared purpose. I suspect that this is the message behind the Sages' teaching that Shabbat is the key to redemption: We do not share a common purpose other than a belief that the world can become a place of peace, a Shabbat world