Author Archives: Rabbi Joshua

About Rabbi Joshua

I'm a Rabbi, writer, thinker, mountain biker, father and husband ... not necessarily in that order. According to my wife, however, I'm just a big nerd. I have degrees in dead languages and ancient stuff. I have studied in various Jewish institutions, including an Orthodox yeshiva in Europe. I get in trouble for making friends with perfect strangers, and for standing on chairs to sing during Shabbos dinner. In addition to being the Senior Rabbi of Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue in Agoura Hills, CA, I write regularly for several publications and speak widely in congregations and conferences. My wife is a Southern-fried Jewish Beltway bandit and a smokin' hot human rights attorney... and please don’t take offense if I dump Tabasco sauce on your cooking.

Kristallnacht

Tonight, November 9-10, marks the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass. It is called the “Night of Broken Glass” because on this night, in 1938, thousands of rioters stormed Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues causing enormous … Continue reading

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Creation and the Hidden Light

Parashat Breishit The Torah relates the story of the six days of creation in order to refute other theories that claim that the universe came into being through some cosmic accident or coincidence. As such, the story of creation speaks … Continue reading

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Are You Listening?

  Parashat Ha’azinu The Hebrew word Ha’azinu means “listen.” It is a command to pay attention to the words of the song Moshe recounts to the Jewish people before his passing. The verbs to “listen,” “hear,” and “pay attention to” … Continue reading

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Yom Kippur: Life, Death and Proper Protocol

Tonight begins Yom Kippur – the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Traditionally, Leviticus 16, which deals with the proper protocol for the High Priest during the special Yom Kippur service, is read in the synagogue on the morning of … Continue reading

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Rosh HaShanah

HaShem spoke unto Moshe, saying: “Tell the people of Israel, ‘In the seventh month, the first day of the month is to be for you a day of complete rest for remembering, a holy convocation announced with blasts of the … Continue reading

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Lost Property and Relationships

Parashat Ki Tetze What can lost property teach us about relationships? Parashat Ki Tetze contains seventy-two different mitzvot, the largest number in any Torah portion. From the outset, it seems to be just a condensed list of random instructions. However, the format … Continue reading

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Elul: A Month of Love and Preparation

This past Saturday was the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul. Elul is very special because it is the month preceding Tishrei – the month the High Holidays fall in. Traditionally it is known as a month of preparation. … Continue reading

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Food of Complacency

Parashat Eikev Food: Something many of us enjoy … and maybe often a little too much. Reading through our Torah portion, Eikev, I thought about the great holiday dinners of Pesach, Rosh HaShanah, Thanksgiving and others. There is nothing like that … Continue reading

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Pleading Before HaShem

Parashat Ve’etchanan This week’s Torah portion is called Ve’etchanan – “I pleaded.” It is Moshe pleading with the people to observe G-d’s mitzvot and live as the holy community G-d has purposed Israel to be. Last week we discussed how Deuteronomy is … Continue reading

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Rebellion and Selfishness … or a Message of Hope?

Parashat Korach This week’s parasha begins with an outright rebellion against Moses and Aaron. So what do we learn from this? Korach, a first cousin of Moses (and also a Levite), and those with him are presented in the parasha as having … Continue reading

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