Category Archives: Uncategorized

Holy Cow!

Shabbat Parah This week is a special Shabbat, called Shabbat Parah. It is named after the special supplemental reading, called the maftir, from Numbers 19 that describes the process for sacrificing the Red Heifer. This portion is always read before the beginning … Continue reading

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Divine Presence

Parashat Terumah What is the connection between the construction of the Tabernacle, its furnishings and the Presence of G-d among the people of Israel? This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Terumah, centers on the instructions concerning the building of the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) and … Continue reading

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Yahrzeit of Rabbi Lichtenstein

Today is Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh day of Sukkot, and also marks the yahrzeit of Rabbi Ignácz (Isaac) Lichtenstein, one of our great Messianic Jewish forbearers. Lichtenstein’s Early Life Rav Lichtenstein was born in 1824, and became a rabbi before … Continue reading

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Changes Ahead

For those who have not yet heard … after seven years at Ahavat Zion Synagogue I will be leaving at the end of this month to become the rabbi of Beth Emunah in Agoura Hills beginning June 30th. We will also be moving … Continue reading

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Passover: Redemption Draws Nigh

Passover begins tonight (Friday, March 30, 2018). While living in Budapest, Hungary, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in a Passover Seder with a large group of Holocaust survivors. This special group opened my eyes to a deeper message of freedom and … Continue reading

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Passover, Elijah, and Shabbat HaGadol

Shabbat HaGadol This week is Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat that occurs at the beginning of the week in which Passover will be observed (Passover begins next Friday evening). There are five special shabbatot leading up to Passover. Each special … Continue reading

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Esther the Superhero

In honor of Purim … a Classic Reprint from Monique! What little girl doesn’t want to wear a Queen Esther costume for Purim? She’s the paragon of our every dream – the beauty of all Jewish beauties, the savior of … Continue reading

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Purim: A Sudden Reversal

Shabbat Zachor The Shabbat that precedes Purim is called Shabbat Zachor – the Shabbat of Remembrance. For on this Shabbat, there is an added maftir (a different concluding reading) and a different Haftarah reading because we are to recall the Torah command to blot … Continue reading

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Sukkot: A Festival of Joy, Gladness and Redemption

The festival of Sukkot begins tonight, Wednesday, October 4th. Sukkot is one of the most joyous occasions on the Jewish calendar. It is deeply connected to the earlier High Holidays of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, and is the culmination … Continue reading

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Kol Nidrei: Tensions and Paradoxes of Yom Kippur

“All vows, obligations, oaths, and anathemas, whether called ‘ḳonam,’ ‘ḳonas,’ or by any other name, which we may vow, or swear, or pledge, or whereby we may be bound, from this Day of Atonement until the next (whose happy coming … Continue reading

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