July 26, 2017


This Shabbat, in advance of Tisha B'Av, we read a powerful Haftarah from Isaiah ch.1. It doesn't, as we might expect, talk about the Temple's destruction. It depicts a Jerusalem that has become corrupt, like Sodom and Gomorrah (1:9-10):

How the faithful city has become...

July 20, 2017

The concept of a vow, the topic with which our parsha opens, is quite radical. As an ordinary civilian, I can take on a new obligation, or utter a ban for myself, and by combining my commitment with God’s name this vow has real and binding legal force:

“If a man makes a...

July 13, 2017

A few years back, my teenage daughter

introduced me to the poem, “Two Elements”, by the Israeli poet Zelda:


The flame says to the cypress:
“When I see how calm,
how full of pride you are,
something inside me goes wild –

How can one live this awesome life

July 4, 2017

We humans have the choice. But we also bear the consequences of our choices. God leads us the way we want to go, but he might not agree with what we wish to do. We might only learn the hard way.

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