Category: Torah

The Text(s), the tribe, the learning, the being. (With a bit of random spirituality mixed in.)

365 Names: Flow

FLOW is preferred to The Flow, since “the” suggests separateness — “Thingness,” if you will — and as Flow cannot be reliably distinguished from that-which-flows, said usage would upset “the” carefully built phenomenological apple-cart. (And we certainly can’t have that.)…

Temple of the Holy Reruns

HAVE YOU EVER SAT IN a theater after the movie ended so you can see it again? Then you’ll understand Simchat Torah. Simchat Torah, or “Rejoicing of (the) Teaching,” will be celebrated by the worldwide Jewish community beginning tonight through…

Day of At-Onement

IT’S HARD TO DESCRIBE THE feeling I get around 1 or 2 p.m. on Yom Kippur afternoon with no food since the previous evening. It’s an intellectual, buzzy sort of consciousness: colors are brighter, outlines sharper, and an almost euphoric…

Happy 5780!

THE WORLD MAY NOT HAVE begun 5.780 years ago — in fact, it didn’t — but since we’ve likely had writing for about that long, we might say that today’s traditional Jewish date may well mark written history’s 5,780th birthday.…

Fiction: Act of Who?

“THANK YOU FOR CALLING TOTAL Auto, may I help you?” “Yes, my car was swept away in the recent floods, and I would like to file a claim.” “I’m sorry sir, but flood coverage isn’t included in any of our…

If church worked, you’d only need to go once.”
— Pastor Rich Gantenbein, a”h

365 Names: “Shekhina”

THE SHEKHINA, or “Presence (of G?d),” comes from the Hebrew root meaning “to dwell” (it’s the same root as “mishkan,” the portable desert G?d-tent AKA “Tabernacle”). There’s a seamless distinction between the Presence of G?d and G?d Itself. Tradition teaches…

Right (of) Passage

ONE QUESTION THAT OFTEN COMES up during Torah study, especially the portions that concern the seemingly over-described sacrifices and Tabernacle (portable wilderness G?d-tent) and its holy furniture, is, “Does G?d really care about all these details?” One answer: “Who knows?…

To gain a yirah[awe]-inducing glimpse of the transcendent, you must sharpen your inner awareness to perceive divine Oneness wherever you look. You can practice shifting your inner vision to apprehend the scintillating divine presence in an apple, a table, a car, a baby’s eyes, anywhere in this world. When you make that choice and adjust your perception in this way, you have placed HaShem [that-which-some-people-call-G?d] before you, and yirah is sure to overtake your heart as if the floor beneath you had suddenly fallen away.”
–From the monthly YASHAR newsletter)