“Not Very Religious” – A Sermon for Kol Nidrei 5777

It is told that once, just before the start of Yom Kippur, the Baal Shem Tov went up to a Jew in the back of the synagogue and asked him to lead the Kol Nidre service. The man looked up at the Baal Shem and did what any of us might do in the situation:Continue reading ““Not Very Religious” – A Sermon for Kol Nidrei 5777″

Moses and “Moses” – Celebrating Harriet Tubman

They say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I’m not so sure about that. This weekend, Jewish families all over the world will sit down at their tables for the Passover Seder. This season celebrates freedom; it acknowledges that somewhere in the depths of our history/mythology we were slaves. And that through forces humanContinue reading “Moses and “Moses” – Celebrating Harriet Tubman”

An Egalitarian Kotel

In the movie The Ten Commandments, Moses comes down the mountain with two tablets, containing the 10 laws that the Israelites are to follow. I love that movie. But it doesn’t tell the whole story. Jewish tradition tells says what happened at Sinai was far bigger than any 10 Commandments. It was even bigger thenContinue reading “An Egalitarian Kotel”

Who wrote the Torah? A very good question

NOTE: this entry was cross-posted at Jewish Values Online.  The great Rabbi Akiba used to tell this story: A fox once spotted a fish darting to and fro in the water. He asked the fish, “From whom are you fleeing?” And the fish answered, “From the fisherman’s net.” So the crafty fox offered, “Would youContinue reading “Who wrote the Torah? A very good question”