Jacob is on the move. He has had to leave his home, and journey to Haran to live under the protection of his uncle Laban. He is alone. It is night time, and he lies down and falls asleep. Suddenly in a dream, a ladder appears with angels going up and down. In the morning…Read on →
This week we turn back to the beginning of the Torah upon the dawn of Creation and the appearance of humanity on Earth. “And God created man and woman in the image of God; male and female, God created them, and God blessed them.” This is a lovely and poetic account of how we as…Read on →
In the communities of Eastern Europe in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and even beyond, there were certain people who would make their way from community to community, weaving stories and teaching lessons. They were itinerant preachers, who, in some cases, rose in stature to become folk heroes. Such a person was called a…Read on →
“Proclaim liberty throughout the land; to all the inhabitants thereof.” (Leviticus 25.10) So states our Torah portion this week, Behar. We know this verse as Jews. For us as Americans, though, this verse is seared into our minds, as it is carved into the Liberty Bell, which we can view in its glass encasement in…Read on →
This week we are reading the portion Tazria in our Torah; at first blush, not very appetizing reading. Most of the portion concerns itself with what we, in less elegant vocabulary, might call schmutz; skin infections, mold on houses, and the like – not one of the more inspirational portions in our literature. On the…Read on →
We were horrified this morning as we awoke to the news that two blasts had rocked the Belgian capital of Brussels. With dozens of people dead and wounded, we grieve with the Belgian people, with all those visiting who were victimized, and with their families. Only four months after the deadly attacks in Paris, the…Read on →
As hale and hearty New Yorkers, we are accustomed to much colder weather during this season than we have experienced thus far this year. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I have enjoyed this extended fall weather and I don’t particularly relish biting cold and whipping winds. And while Irving Berlin, a Jewish immigrant from…Read on →
UT volunteers collected food, toiletries and money from holiday shoppers at the Key Food on Seventh Avenue at Carroll Street on Saturday, November 22 for the benefit of CHIPS (Christian Help in Park Slope) which provides meals for the homeless on 4th Avenue. Organized by the UT Social Action Committee the volunteers worked in 2 hours shifts….Read on →
This has been a difficult week for our country, as we marked the one-year anniversary of the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Baltimore, Staten Island, South Carolina and elsewhere, have experienced similar police confrontations with African Americans, and tensions with police have risen. The “Black Lives Matter” movement that emerged this past…Read on →
Balak, King of Moab, feared the Children of Israel, and sent word to Bylam in Pethor: Come put a curse on this people for me. . . perhaps I can thus defeat them and drive them out of the land. for I know that he whom you bless is blessed indeed, and he whom you…Read on →
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