Index of Writings


One-minute Judaism Creation, Exodus, Hanukkah, Holidays, Passover,Torah, Time and Space, Purim, Pilgrimage, Shavuot, Sukkot

One-minute Torah Torah is our collective, eternal dream, our metaphor for understanding ourselves and our place in the cosmos.

Lech Lecha: Being a Blessing Shlomo Carlebach, alav hashalom, used to say that if we knew that Moshiah was going to be at Madison Square Garden tomorrow, most of us wouldn't go.

Miketz The prisoner cannot secure his own liberation from prison.

Va'era The sun, the moon, and the stars assured our ancestors that God's hand was in all. But for the Israelites, numb from slavery, the nature or reality of things as they are is unbearable.

Ha'azinu We wander through life searching for bridges to move us closer to each other and nearer to God.

Tazria The creative process tests boundaries as we see in the Torah portion, Tazria. The world begins with God giving birth to the world; When we give birth, we create a world, too.

An Embrace of Light The tallit is a reminder not only of our descent but of our responsibility to live surrounded by God's light.

D'vrei Torah Listening At our first gathering Jonathan gave us an arrow of intention for the week: Listen. But--to what? For what?

The Torah of Loving Kindness The first subject for study is my favorite word in the English language, lovingkindness.

The Torah of Money The possession of money and the satisfaction of economic wants are a human need, and Judaism regards all that we are, including our desire for all physical needs--food, sex, clothing, and housing--as God's gift.

The Torah of Healing This sermon, the Torah of healing, is the Santa Fe sermon. We live in a place where health and healing are part of the culture, and as Jews we're right at home...

The Torah of Death Death is the teacher of life, the inevitable conclusion that gives meaning to our lives by reminding us that the day is short, so live!

The Torah of Fire Torah is sometimes likened to fire. It is the Aish HaTorah, the fire of Torah that warms--and burns--as we draw near to God's message for us.

Being a Blessing Rosh Hashanah 57674. All languages reveal something of its culture, and Yiddish, especially its humor, tells us about a chapter of the Jewish people and something about ourselves.

Living with Fear Kol Nidre 57674.Several weeks ago my son, Max, sent me the following e-mail that offered suggestions of how to stay safe in the world today

Radical Amazement-Yom Kippur Day 57674. Last night we did serious vidui, confession. We admitted that we were afraid. We bravely listened to the words of our mouths praying and heard how many times "pachad", the Hebrew word for fear, or "yirah", awe, jumped from our throats.

Tisha B'Av, the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, is known as a black fast.

A Time of Caution "Tisha B'Av." Since few of us ever went to temple between Shavuot and Rosh Hashanah...

Teshuvah Selichot This is the time of year when we begin to make new year's resolutions, and by the time I was five years old, I knew everything I needed to know about the High Holidays.

Selichot The word for the process of self-examination, making amends, and asking forgiveness is called teshuvah, which means both return and answer. It carries circularity in its definition.

ISRAEL Erev Roshanah 5763 Friends, let me cut to the chase this High Holidays. The work is so long and the day so short, and the news, gevalt! 9/11, suicide bombings, Enron, drought, floods, fire, Martha Stewart, the stock market, Iraq, Bin Laden, enough already! Maybe we should drown out these names with noisemakers.

The Technology of Judaism You know how some people benefit in times of trouble, like surgeons and morticians? Nothing will ever redeem 9/11, but it has been good for religion. In times of peace and prosperity, it is practically impossible to convince satisfied people that they are missing something in their busy and full lives

Behaving in God This is basic Judaism. Judge yourself and forgive others.

The Light and the Dark of the High Holidays We've examined our deeds and have chosen the life-giving art of change. And now on Yom Kippur we are reaching the culmination of the journey.

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of the world, yet nowhere in the service do we read about creation.

Community The High Holidays celebrate a human being's ability to grow and change. How do we talk about such an intensely personal experience?

Eco-Kashrut This Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Return to our highest selves, I invite you to explore with me our dealings not only with each other but with the world in which we live.

Hanukkah Teaching "What's the best holiday? Hanukkah, of course.

Being Jewish Enough The real story of Hanukkah is about assimilation, where we draw the boundary line between Jewish, not Jewish, and too Jewish.

The Fifth Candle I am Anya Klein from Vilna. I am 22 years old and I no longer remember why we light Hanukkah candles. When you've seen what I've seen, miracles don't mean much.

A Kabbalat Shabbat Sermon The Shabbat of Memory. Called Shabbat Zachor, it means the Sabbath of Remembering. We are a people with strong association to memory.

Chol Ha-Moed Shabbat It's eight days to Passover and I'm already crazy with getting ready for the turn-your-house-into-a-sanctuary holiday.

Shabbat Hagadol You'll forgive me if I'd rather write about Passover than this week's parsha that extends the conversation about leprosy.

Numbering My Days Sefirat Haomer I count these days that are like steps, praying that each one will take me to a higher place, a place of more awareness.

A Jewish Time Capsule Jews believe earthly time is not irrelevant. We are a people who have survived four millennia and we're proud of it.

The Havurah as a Conscious Community of Healing If anyone is really listening right now, if I were listening, I'd think, hmm. Does any group or gathering create holy dwelling?

Why I'm Not a Yankee Fan Tonight I'm going to talk about baseball. It is not only timely, it fits our Torah portion, Bereshit.

The Fear of Good News Catholicism, is attempting to write new midrash, a new interpretation of their religion, in its vision of the Jews and Judaism. Do you know this?

Life Cycles-Brit Milah A rabbi's nightmare is that no one questions, no one speaks, no one cares enough to disagree.

Life Cycles-Hendrix Exercises At first I thought that most pre-nuptial couples would have little interest in dealing with the "second chapter of relationship," i.e. the working out of conflict.

Life Cycles-Intermarriage Letter You've asked me to marry you and I am touched that you have asked me to sanctify that which you both so treasure. All that being said, you know we have a problem.

Accommodating to an Intramarriage How I Learned to Live with Six Sets of Dishes.

The Power of Positive Speaking Gossip, lashon ha-ra. We love it. A divorce entertains a dinner party, a bankruptcy fills the car ride home.

Congregational Dynamics Portraits of Leadership A leader must possess two traits, a clear vision of principles and the ability to communicate and teach them.

A Personal Theology "It's good to study Talmud, Rambam, Rashi. But in the end, what matters is who you have become from your lessons. What do you think?"

Eliezer Ben-Yehudah: Father of Modern Hebrew We Jews often struggle to define what Judaism is. It is a people, but so are Italians. It is a religion, yes, but that doesn't say it all, either.

The Power of Touch I've been thinking a lot about Jewish leadership lately. So, when I picked up the chumash several weeks ago to look at the portion for this Shabbat, and what do I find but Pinhas, the parsha where we get the first picture of how the tradition is passed from one person to another.

The Kabbalah of Prayer Those of you who know me may find this High Holiday's teachings on Kabbalah a surprise.

The Kabbalah of Belief For my parents' generation, moral Judaism made sense. Perhaps the questions raised by the Holocaust about the presence or absence of God was too painful. If God couldn't stop the murder of six million Jews, God was irrelevant.

The Kabbalah of Righteous Generosity Tzedakah, the Jewish word for giving, is commonly translated as charity, from the Latin caritas, which means Christian love. But Tzedakah means justice, it isn't about emotion.
The Kabbalah of Community You cannot be a Jew alone, and we can do together what we cannot do alone. Throughout our history we have created communities to embody an ideal of lovingkindness, and on Yom Kippur we are lifted by prayers that remind us that God gave birth to each of us and that we are sisters and brothers.
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