April 21, 2021

Acharei-Kedoshim (Leviticus 16:1–20:27) By Naomi Gurt Lind | April 21, 2021 What do we do when calamity has struck? Where do we go next? For us as individuals, and for society as a whole, these are not idle questions. The past year has wrought personal, communal, and national tragedy such as many of us have not seen in our lifetimes, such as none of us hope ever to see again. While the pandemic raged, injustices long simmering just below the surface… Read more

April 14, 2021

Parashat Tazria-Metzora (Leviticus 12:1–15:33) By Rabbi Avi Strausberg | April 10, 2021 This past year has been a reckoning with isolation. As a result of the pandemic, many of us have been cut off from friends and family and forced, at worst, to go it alone, and at best to band together with a small group of family and friends until we are able to re-emerge on the other side of this. We have had to celebrate joys, mourn sadness, and struggle… Read more

April 6, 2021

Leviticus 9:1-11:47 By Leah Carnow | Apr 05, 2021 There is a story told in Avot D’Rabbi Natan that when the son of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai dies, his students come to comfort him. One by one, each of the students bring up a figure from the Torah who has also experienced the loss of a child. And each time, Yohanan ben Zakkai responds exactly the same way, saying: “Isn’t it enough that I have my own pain, and now you’re reminding me of their… Read more

April 1, 2021

Passover By Rabbi Jordan Braunig | April 1, 2021 This past weekend, we celebrated our second quarantine Pesach. Two years running with just the five us around the Seder table (each time, a strange mix of sad and sweet). We let our little ones know that in the absence of guests they would have to ask even more questions, to lengthen the telling of the story, to luxuriate in the customs of the night. Yet, a little more than three hours… Read more

March 24, 2021

Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36) By Rabbi Minna Bromberg | Mar 24, 2021 I was listening to a Jewish podcast the other day on which the hosts were doing a segment about different kinds of food. Toward the end of the segment, I realized that I had spent the entire 20 minutes bracing myself for the invasion of diet culture into their conversation. The invasion never came. There was exactly zero moralizing about the foods they were discussing. None of them had… Read more

March 17, 2021

Parashat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1–5:26) By Joey Glick | March 15, 2021   A rabbi I respect always plays Candy Crush before entering the hospital room of a sick congregant. Or rather, she always plays something. Before smartphones, she carried a collection of crossword puzzles. She went through Angry Birds and solitaire phases. The specific distraction has changed over the years, but the hesitation remains. As a young rabbi-in-training, it was both a relief and disappointment to hear that a veteran amazing Jewish… Read more

March 12, 2021

Parashat Vayakhel–Pekudei (Exodus 35:1–40:38) By Max Edwards | March 8, 2021 Over the past year I have become well-versed in romantic comedies. The most significant plot point in these movies is what’s called the “meet-cute,” a scene where two future love interests meet for the first time in an eccentric or comical manner. The meet-cute is vital to the plot of the movie, and not just because of the characters—the setting, backdrop, and time of day also typically impact the rest of… Read more

March 7, 2021

Parshat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11–34:35) By Cantor Ken Richmond | March 5, 2021The week of Parshat Ki Tisa last year was the week that everything changed. As the week began we were still celebrating Purim, with a carnival, a dinner, and a packed Megillah-reading, taking the precautions to wash our hands and to greet each other with elbow bumps. The week was filled with what we didn’t realize would be our last pre-COVID days at school and work, our last communal meals and concerts, our… Read more

March 2, 2021

Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11–34:35) By Rabbi Shira Shazeer | March 2, 2021 Purim Lano. Pesach a la mano, “Purim has passed, Pesach is at hand,” goes the first line of a well known Ladino song, written by Flory Jagoda. This year, as Purim has come and gone, and Pesach is just under a month away, the familiar twin feelings of joy in the holidays and anxiety at the work it will take to prepare for them, come with a unique new… Read more

February 24, 2021

Tetzaveh and Shushan Purim (Exodus 27:20 – 30:10) By Naomi Gurt Lind | February 12, 2021 Some years ago, following a particularly magnificent performance, I found myself in my center-balcony seat of a Broadway theatre, holding my breath. The show had long since ended, but I didn’t move. I was magicked into rapturous submission, couldn’t bear to break the spell. Minutes passed. Stagehands scurried here and there, moving props offstage, sweeping the floor, resetting furniture for the next performance. Slowly the energy… Read more

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