Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Holiness, Justice and Reaching Out to Others

Parashat Mishpatim What can this week’s parasha, and the Torah as a whole, teach us about reaching out to others and drawing them close? Our Torah portion begins: Exodus 21:1 א  וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים, אֲשֶׁר תָּשִׂים לִפְנֵיהֶם. 1 These are the ordinances which … Continue reading

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Choosing to be God Conscious

Parashat Toldot What does this week’s Torah portion teach us about personal choices? “Esau said to Jacob, ‘Pour some of that red stuff for me now, for I am exhausted. Jacob said, ‘Sell, as this day, your birthright to me.’ … Continue reading

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“Get Out!”

Parashat Lekh Lekha “GET OUT!” – G-d makes it very clear to Avram that only through self-imposed exile can he attain his ultimate spiritual potential. Parashat Lekh Lekha, unlike our first two portions in Genesis, emphasizes this convergence between G-d … Continue reading

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