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Numbers (Bamidbar)

Korach 5779 – Change is Hard

July 11, 2019
Korach

Change is hard. Change is necessary.  Change is inevitable. In this week’s Torah portion, a man named Korach wants change. He leads a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron, saying: רַב־לָכֶם֒ כִּ֤י כָל־הָֽעֵדָה֙ כֻּלָּ֣ם קְדֹשִׁ֔ים וּבְתוֹכָ֖ם יְי וּמַדּ֥וּעַ תִּֽתְנַשְּׂא֖וּ עַל־קְהַ֥ל יְי׃ You have gone too far! For all the community are holy,...
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Korach 5778 – Korach, Governance, and Temple Beth-El

June 19, 2018
Argument

Note: the argument in the photo was at the Western Wall a few years ago, when some ultra-Orthodox men were threatening women trying to peacefully pray with Women of the Wall (including one of my daughters), and I came to their defense. No fisticuffs ensued: they backed off and left the women alone. When...
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Bamidbar 5778 – The Embassy and Gaza

May 22, 2018
Jerusalem Embassy Gaza

This week’s Torah portion has a lesson on the benefits of order. The 12 tribes are organized into four camps. Each camp placed around the Tent of Meeting. Every camp in its position, every tribe in its spot in the camp, all personnel accounted for. Everyone with a role. The Torah tells us “The...
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Naso 5777 – The Paris Agreement on Climate Change

June 4, 2017

Even some of my supporters have told me, “Rabbi, I come to shul to relax on Shabbat. I don’t want to hear things that are political, that are contentious. I get enough of that during the week.” We just celebrated Shavuot. Shavuot is the holiday when we celebrate receiving the Torah. But what is...
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Matot Masei 5776 – Life’s Journeys

August 12, 2016
Sinai Peninsula

This second part of this week’s Torah reading, Masei, begins with a bit of a travelogue.  Eleh masei v’nai Yisrael, “These are the journeys of the people of Israel.”  And the Torah goes on to record the 42 stages the Hebrew nation went through on their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Why...
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Balak 5776: Blessings, Curses, and Non-Complementarity

July 24, 2016
Wine

This week’s Torah reading starts with Balak, the king of Moab, (across the Dead Sea from Masada) feeling worried. Very worried. He was worried about the Israelites, who were a force to be reckoned with. He told his elder council, “These guys are going to clean us out like an ox licking up the...
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