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.

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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Happy Independence Day!

We wish you and your family a very happy 4th of July, and leave you with a couple of inspiring thoughts on this Independence Day. “Of all the disposition and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable … Continue reading

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Lift Up Your Head

Parashat Bamidbar What is the purpose of the census at the beginning of the book of Numbers, and why is so much detail placed on the encampment of the tribes of Israel around the Tabernacle? This week’s Torah portion begins the … Continue reading

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Consequences of a Violated Relationship

Acharei Mot 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 Yom Kippur. The Torah introduces the Yom Kippur service immediately … Continue reading

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What does God expect of us?

Parashat Yitro This week’s Parasha tells us that “Moshe went up to G-d, and then HaShem called to him from the mountain.” This phrase begins the retelling of the powerful story of G-d giving the Torah to Israel, and of the … Continue reading

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A Modern Day Prophet

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I have always admired Dr. King’s life and work. And of course, his words have always motivated and inspired me. In fact, Dr. King (in a very roundabout way) even played a role … Continue reading

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Responding to Calamity

Parashat Bo Last week’s Torah portion, Va’era, introduced the first seven of the ten plagues. This week, Parashat Bo identifies the final three plagues and records the mitzvot concerning Passover. Each of these plagues are devastating enough on their own, but added up … Continue reading

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A Stranger in a Foreign Land

Parashat Shemot Shemot is the first Torah portion in the book of Exodus and contains the narrative of Moses’ early childhood, his flight to Midian, his encounter with the Divine, and his return to Egypt. Early in the narrative, Moshe … Continue reading

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Revealing Mashiach

Parashat Vayechi It can be said that everything written in the Torah concerns Mashiach. As such, how does this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi, reveal Mashiach? Continuing on the themes from last week’s discussion, this week’s Torah portion reveals Mashiach in two primary … Continue reading

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