Torah tl;dr: “Bereshit”

We need each other. Now that we have passed Simchat Torah, we begin our Torah cycle anew at the beginning. And still more to say in 60 seconds. Listen to the latest episode of my podcast here: 60 Seconds to Wisdom. Short Teachings on the Weekly Torah Portion. Suitable for All Who Seek.

How A Communal Celebration Reminds Us of the Dangers of Loneliness

This post originally appeared on the Rabbis Without Borders blog. You can read the original here. One of the fastest growing epidemics to affect our individual emotional and physical health is loneliness. Much has been written about loneliness recently, and especially how it can have deleterious effects on our health similar to smoking and even ...

Torah tl;dr: “Haazinu” and “Vzot Habracha”

Two for one because of the recent holidays. You reap what you sow. Listen to the latest episode of my podcast here: 60 SECONDS TO WISDOM. Short teachings on the weekly Torah portion. Suitable for all who seek.

For Sukkot: Humor and Resilience

I had the honor and the pleasure to be a guest on a new podcast, Hashivenu, produced and hosted by Rabbi Deborah Waxman, the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association. The theme of the podcast is Jewish approaches to resilience, and I was invited to speak about humor (!) and its role in human resilience. ...

Anti-Semitism and Answering the Call for Justice (Yom Kippur Day 5778)

Less a "sermon" than an extended kavannah before the haftarah, this is what I offered on Yom Kippur Day In a moment we will read the haftarah, Isaiah’s famous call for justice, for social justice. As we gather this afternoon to read these words, I am mindful that in the other Washington, a major march ...

Have Courage (Kol Nidre 5778)

My favorite part of the Torah is the end. It’s a tender and sweet moment. Moses dies, God buries Moses in a place that is unknown to anyone else. The Torah says some nice words about Moses, how he was unlike any other prophet that the Israelites has known—our liberator, our lawgiver, our defender, our ...

The Six Things I Have Learned About Life Since Last Year’s Election (Erev Rosh Hashanah 5778)

Well these are interesting times we are living in. It is always noteworthy how the High Holidays come in the fall, when so many of our other renewals and new starts take hold. In nature we transition from summer to fall, and are harvesting the last of our summer bounty. The salmon are running, making ...

Living into Your Strengths: A Cheshbon Hanefesh Worksheet for the New Year

As we pass Selichot eve towards the High Holidays, the work of self-reflection and introspection becomes all that more immediate. The act of cheshbon hanefesh--of taking a self-inventory--is the spiritual work we are called to do at this season. But it is not easy. Confronting what we did, or didn't do, over the past year ...

Torah tl;dr: “Ki Tavo” and “Nitzavim-Vayeilech”

Two this week, since I forgot to post last week. It's been a busy Elul! Ki Tavo: Carrot or the Stick? Nitzavim-Vayeilech: Ground Yourself. 60 SECONDS TO WISDOM. Short Teachings on the Weekly Torah Portion. Suitable for All Who Seek.