The two and a half tribes--Rueben, Gad, and part of Menasseh-- listened to the accusations and realized that they were already being forgotten.
Change is good; being a "Changer" is better.
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 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
Who are these beings? Why do they play such important roles in the stories of Genesis? Why are the stories of the beginnings of humanity so rich with characters so unfamiliar?
Once I learned to treat every person I meet as more than chance and as an opportunity, I was able to expand my collection of superheroes.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the teacher of the Zohar who we honor on Lag B'Omer, plants seeds of infinite growth in our minds so each of us can begin our time travel with Torah with a taste of her eternally expanding wisdom embedded in our souls
The Tisha b'Av experience is a spiritual affliction, "Acedia," a "sadness, a disgust with life, which comes from our inability to get along with ourselves, our disunion with God."
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?
I love and, am energized by, wrapping myself in my Tallit (Prayer Shawl), and tying on my Tefillin (Phylacteries) because of their message. I focused this morning on whether I had the ability to energize them, whether I could wear them as a celebration of my growth, and found myself vibrating with their energy.
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.
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,
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.
“What new light has been added to your life?”
We stand everyday as did Nadav and Avihu, searching to elevate our actions into meaning, desperate to 'make a difference," trying to get the heavens into our heads
All agree that the Chanukah candles represent insights
We stand in the final moments of 5777, prepared to transition to 5778, perfect moments to offer our gift to God, honoring all we have gained over the past year, and how we intend to apply that growth in the future, using the coming year to grow in ways yet unimaginable to us.
I wish all of us, parents and teachers, would listen to everything our children ask and say. I dream of our hearing them so well that we can begin to visualize and relate to them as who they can be when they fulfill all their potential.
Chag Sameach-Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut and Shabbat Shalom
All Toledot - Relationships - begin with our relationship with ourselves.
Esau handled the meeting with Jacob far more grace than most people manage an argument with a spouse. Not bad behavior for a person we are taught is one of the most evil biblical characters!
Revelation both Divine and self. Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Learning to give THANKS and preparing ourselves for Pesach.
Where is our Exodus? If the question is about miraculous salvation and the punishment of our enemies, I have no answer. If the question is a quest for experiencing greatness, the answer is the Mitzvot
I finished reading that the Israeli chief rabbinate invalidating numerous conversions, opened the weekly portion, and enjoyed a hearty chuckle when I remembered that the portion of Revelation and the Ten Statements is named for a convert, a failed one, Yitro. Things sure have changed.
It sounds quite nice, but I wonder whether Abraham had it easier than do we. He had a warning and a reason as well from the only reliable spiritual authority. God appeared to Abraham and told him that a storm was coming to Sodom because of her evil. As far as I know, God did not appear to anyone to warn that the East Coast would be punished for her 'evil'
When the Torah constantly asks that its words "Be new in our eyes, as if we are receiving the Torah today," it is not simply asking that we are open to a new reading of a verse, or application of a law. The Torah is asking us to live in a state of Paradigm Shift, a life in which our approach to prayer changes each day, as should our approach to all the commandments and texts.
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.