The World is Revealing Itself To Us

The joke that during our quarantine time no one remembers what day it is rings true for me. While I'm able to stay on top of Shabbat, other days and tasks flow together. I realized the other day that I haven't written my "weekly post" for a few weeks! In our Torah reading this week …

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After the Separation, the Return

This week's Torah portion has always been one that has seemed somewhat esoteric and hard to understand. Then the coronavirus happened. The double portion of Tazria/Metzora describes various skin diseases and how they are treated. If one has an outbreak, or a rash, or lesions, they go to the priest to decides whether or not …

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No, This Passover is Not Different from Other Passovers

As we sit down at our Seder tables, it is clear that this night is different than all other nights. Some of us will be sitting down with just our immediate family. Some of us will be propping a computer or tablet on the table to videoconference with other friends and loved ones. And some …

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Everyone is Essential

We enter into Shabbat this week with the knowledge that Governor Inslee has extended the stay at home order for Washington State until May 4. It was not unexpected, especially since the schools are officially closed until April 24. It seems safe to say that we can expect extensions of those dates as well. But …

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Passover and Staying at Home

With our new situation, staying at home to protect ourselves and our communities from the coronavirus, we are also having to face a new way of celebrating Passover. My thoughts went back to 11 years ago, when I was recovering from neurosurgery during this season. When the night of the Seder arrived, I was not …

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Building the Tabernacle through Social Distance

This past Shabbat we concluded the book of Exodus in our Torah reading cycle with the double portion of Vayakhel-Pikudei, reading the description of the construction and the assembly of the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is to be the Israelite's portable sacred space and community center that they take with them on their journey through the …

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First, Recognize Our Fear and Anxiety. Then, Build Community.

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continued to change day to day, we like many synagogues last week decided to cancel services and other programs. Subsequently the directives to "social distance" and avoid groups grew, schools closed, and beyond just our Jewish community, our greater society is stepping back and isolating in order to slow the …

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Washing, Sanitizing, and Resting Will Avert the Severe Decree

The Jewish interpretive tradition has a wonderful way of using word play to derive meaning and connection from sacred text. One of my favorite examples of this is how commentators make a connection between Yom Kippur--the solemn Day of Atonement--and Purim--the festive celebration of the events of the Book of Esther. Since the prefix "k-" …

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My Endorsement: Vote

By now those of us in Washington State have gotten our ballots in the mail. And while I always miss the polling place, to do love the fact that we have such an accessible and open system of mail-only voting, especially now that one doesn’t even need a stamp. If you follow me on Facebook, …

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