Oct 19

18 October 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Aaron and Armando – not two names you typically see together. One Hebrew, one Spanish, these two have been on my mind this week through a remarkable real-life story of one of my colleagues and his community. R’ Aaron Brusso is the rabbi of Bet Torah, a growing Masorti community in Mt. Kisco, New […]

Oct 11

11 October 2018

By Editor | Blogs

At the very start of Parashat No’aḥ, which we will read this week, we find the following doom-laden verse: “The Earth was corrupted before God; all the Earth was full of violence.” (Genesis 6:11) This is actually part of the same narrative as the very end of last week’s reading, which is somewhat artificially split between […]

Oct 05

4 October 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, We’ve reached that point finally- the end of the high holy day season! Yet, in typically Jewish fashion, that ending only means more beginnings. Beginning with “In the Beginning…” this Shabbat with Parashat Bereshit, we start the Torah anew once again. In addition, there’s some beginnings kicking off throughout our community as well: […]

Aug 31

30 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, I’ve spent this week in Bratislava, taking a bit of a break to do some writing and prepare for the High Holy Days. Bratislava is an amazing city, with a lot of history, and a renewed life. Today, the tech sector and foreign investment have turned once quiet and sleepy Bratislava into a […]

Aug 23

23 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, One of the benefits of getting older is suddenly realizing that the rest of the world is using words which make absolutely no sense. ‘Woke’, ‘normie’, ‘mansplain’ – thankfully English has never suffered from a lack of creativity in coining new and wonderful words. I even learned a new one today: ‘balconing.’ Starting […]

Aug 17

16 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

*content warning: discussion of mental illness/suicide* Dear Friends, This past week I saw, on Facebook and elsewhere, a sudden influx of posts about Robin Williams, who died by suicide four years ago. I think for many people in my own life, particularly my peers in age-terms, Williams’ death was a tremendous eye-opener about the danger […]

Aug 10

9 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, This week I want to open with a quote from R’ Bradley Shavit-Artson, the dean of the Ziegler School for Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles: “We have what to share with the world: our values, our stories, our traditions and guidelines, our love of a place, our ways of sanctifying time and family, […]

Aug 03

2 August 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, When I was a kid, one of my favourite activities was the inevitable ‘scavenger hunt’– the more baroque and complex the clues– the better. The absurd combination of puzzles and geography was extremely satisfying. As I got older, the ubiquity of global positioning system (GPS) technology meant that there were new avenues of […]

Jul 27

26 July 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, There’s been many aspects of my Jewish life where I’ve often felt an ‘outsider’. I consider it a badge of honour to be a rabbi who understands what it’s like to not be able to read Hebrew or not know what page we’re on during services. Yet perhaps the most profound lack of […]

Jul 19

19 July 2018

By Editor | Blogs

Dear Friends, Just under two thousand years ago, the Jewish people found themselves amidst a civil war. For the better part of the 1st century, the Land of Israel saw previously inconceivable upheaval: a Roman invasion and occupation, a split between Jews who would collaborate with the Romans against those who insisted on violent resistance, […]

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