Ritual of Water, Ritual of Words – Parshat Ki Tisa/Parah 2021

There have been many different kinds of artistic performances at the Super Bowl in the more than half-century of its existence but this year was certainly unique. In addition to musical performances by famous musicians, the game was kicked off with an original poem by 22-year-old Amanda Gorman celebrating frontline workers' efforts during the pandemic. … Continue reading Ritual of Water, Ritual of Words – Parshat Ki Tisa/Parah 2021

He Lives in You – Parshat Terumah 2021

The soundtrack for the 1994 Disney film The Lion King, like the movie itself, was wildly successful and highly acclaimed. Not many remember that Disney later released a second album, called Rhythm of the Pride Lands, of songs that were either originally intended to be in the movie or that were inspired by the movie. … Continue reading He Lives in You – Parshat Terumah 2021

“An Eye for an Eye” and Equal Justice – Parshat Mishpatim 2021

Martin Luther King, Jr. was all of 26-28 years old when he helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama in the late 1950s. More than fifty-thousand Black Americans participated in the boycott and it was very successful at raising the national consciousness of Segregation in the South and moving the conscience of many white … Continue reading “An Eye for an Eye” and Equal Justice – Parshat Mishpatim 2021

Sinai and the Perfect Crime – Parshat Yitro 2021

It was only today that I learned, for the first time, that it is actually quite easy to get away with murder, at least in theory. All you have to do is make sure to commit that murder in a very specific 50 square-mile stretch of Yellowstone National Park that overlaps with the state of … Continue reading Sinai and the Perfect Crime – Parshat Yitro 2021

Crossing the Waters with Faith – Parshat Beshalach 2021

Recently, in the news, there has been renewed discussion of honoring the memory and legacy of Harriet Tubman by imprinting her likeness on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson. There are criticisms of this plan by people on the right and the left but one major benefit of this discussion is that it raises … Continue reading Crossing the Waters with Faith – Parshat Beshalach 2021

Say What You Know and What You Don’t – Parshat Bo 2021

When I was in college, there was a frequent joke among my female friends about the most important factor in their search for an observant Jewish husband - how long he waits between eating meat and dairy food. Many people so resent having to wait six hours between eating fleishig and milchig that they develop … Continue reading Say What You Know and What You Don’t – Parshat Bo 2021

Powerful Pestilence and Compassionate Hail – Parshat Va’eira 2021

There is a group of 68 government employees who are critical to the US economy and whose work addresses one of the major impacts of climate change on life in our country. I'm not referring to scientists, economists, or even people who work in an office. I'm talking about the "tick riders," cowboys who live … Continue reading Powerful Pestilence and Compassionate Hail – Parshat Va’eira 2021

Brotherly Love – Parshat Vayechi 2020

If you ever watch a TV show about law enforcement, such as Law and Order, you'll notice that there are certain patterns that return again and again, certain behaviors by criminals, when caught, that become predictable. For example, if a group of people commits a crime together, such as a robbery or an attack, writers … Continue reading Brotherly Love – Parshat Vayechi 2020

A Booster Shot of Brotherly Love – Parshat Vayigash 2020

The fast of the 10th of Tevet, which we are observing today, is strange in some ways. On one hand, it is the shortest fast day in the Jewish calendar. Since it is always around the darkest part of the winter, the fast doesn't begin until a reasonably late hour in the morning, enabling you … Continue reading A Booster Shot of Brotherly Love – Parshat Vayigash 2020