Friday Nov 09, 2012
This week's parsha – entitled 'The Life of Sara' – ironically opens with the news of her death. And yet there is no explicit mention of why she died. The commentators jump to fill in the blank. Rashi himself notes that the proximity of her demise to the binding of Isaac gives a hint as to the cause of her death. Midrashim further elaborate by sharing stories of how Sara splits with her soul (parcha nishmata) in shocked...
Thursday Nov 01, 2012
I never had the schut of meeting Shlomo. But I did get one encounter-at-a-distance. It was sort of like smelling the bakery without really tasting the challah...though that shmek sure did open up my neshama.
It was the summer of 1994. I had just finished my freshman year in college and I spent the summer in Israel. Those were my first days of falling in love with Torah, truly one of the most magical chapters of my life. On one of those...
Thursday Oct 25, 2012
Abraham is the original immigrant to Israel. His journey is the supreme example of divine calling and the original order to aliyah. It opens, “Lech Lecha, go from your land, your birth-place, your father's house, to a land that I will show you.” God's call basically says, 'Leave behind all family and familiarity and take a walk into the utterly unknown.'
Abraham's story models for us our own journeys of setting out on...
Wednesday Oct 10, 2012
This one's in honor of my dear departed friend, Azriel Cohen who passed away this Sukkot. He was a masterful artist and entrepreneur of the spirit, forever birthing new and powerful pieces of art and facilitating experiences that inevitably opened the minds and hearts of everyone involved. One of my favorites was his Travelling Jerusalem Cafe. An experiential artistic exploration of Jerusalem's cafe cultures, in both East and West...
Sunday May 20, 2012
“When are the Chinese coming?!” my 4-year old son Yeshaya asked me enthusiastically last Friday morning. You see, that night we were to be hosting 20 tour agents from China for a Shabbat meal. My children were overwhelmingly, well, gung ho about the idea. I responded to Yeshaya, “Our guests from China won’t be coming for another 7 hours.” He thought for a moment and proclaimed with great know-how to his...