yom kippur blog

When Breaking the Rules Makes Sense: Kol Nidre

What is a vow or oath other than an attachment to a belief or rule you make up for yourself and call it truth? A rule can take on the force of a vow, an oath. Like many of the rules that we make up for ourselves, they don’t really work, as they are the product of “magical thinking”. Or, they are…


Ki Tavo – Don’t Be A Basket Case

Words are for a reason. Nothing in the Torah is superfluous or incredibly obvious. So when I notice the repeated use of a word that tells me something rather silly, I take that as a challenge to find the deeper meaning.

This week’s Torah portion, ”Ki Tavo”, starts out by describing the laws of “Bikkurim”, which are the laws of bringing the first fruits to the Priests in the Temple. But the…


The Power of “No”

I like to have guests at my Shabbat table, and depending on the themes of the weekly Torah portions, the table discussions can get a little heated. If you are apt to read the Torah in order to be offended, to find evidence of misogyny, and/or general “political incorrectness”, then welcome to this week’s Torah portion, “Ki Teitzei”.

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Re’eh: Choosing to See

I sign a lot of petitions online. Yesterday, I signed a petition – again – to demand the release of the 200-plus kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, amidst the latest reports that they are now being sold into slavery for 12 bucks each. The premise is…