Category: Torah

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


Hamas must be defeated.

The hostages must be released.

But Netanyahu cannot be trusted to wage a just war in a just way. Let us not forget that almost the entire country turned out, in the weeks before Oct. 7, to demonstrate against his would-be ironfisted dictatorship.

I am heartsick and soul-sore that too many innocents have died, are dying, and will die. Meanwhile, the world’s ravening Jew-hatred continues unabated. It’s getting worse, in fact.

Also meanwhile, I can hear my spirit hardening, like cement patching a broken sidewalk. And it scares me.

At what point do we raise our voices in protest? Where? To whom?

And — what good would it do?

One Another

THE SCENE: LAST WEEK AT a medical office. It was a strictly routine matter, but one which involved removing my cabbie cap and disclosing my kippah. “How was your Chanukah?” the technician asked. “It was good,” I replied. “Lots of…

Fear of death is worse than death.”
— R. Yehudah de Modena

Wish List

I want the rockets and bombings to stop. I want Hamas to surrender. I want the hostages released. I want civilians to stop dying. I want a two-state solution. I want to live without fear. I want to live without…

Give It Away Now

THE TALMUD SAYS THAT ONE who teaches Torah to a child is as if one raised that child. What it also says is, “That’s what you’re supposed to do.” As noted elsewhere, Torah is a great interest and passion of…

Five More Thoughts

1. ANOTHER SERVICE, ANOTHER ARMED GUARD. After making cordial introductions — as one of the service leaders, I was the first to arrive this morning — he informed me that an access-grate was askew below the sanctuary. One of our…

The Feeling

YOM KIPPUR AFTERNOONS ARE USUALLY the spacetime nexus where radical growth happens — and this year was no exception. Let’s set the stage. After an intense twenty-or-so hours of not eating or otherwise tending to physicality, continuous guided liturgical meditation,…

A Weary Wariness

UNTIL OCTOBER 7 AND ITS AFTERMATH, I hadn’t understood just how pervasive and systemic Jew-hatred was. (Is.) I did know it was Out There, of course, but only intellectually. It’s something else to see it in its natural habitat. Case…

Five Thoughts

1. WE HAD A WELL-ARMED GUARD at our synagogue service this morning. (In the United States. IN SONOMA. Which, as you may imagine, made/makes me feel both glad and sad.) 2. When our rabbi asked those visiting for the first…

(Don’t) Be Like Moses

B”H, the following is scheduled to be delivered by me at today’s Yom Kippur service in Sonoma. Take from it what you will, or leave it be. TO PARAPHRASE ANOTHER FAITH’S holiday greeting, “Teshuva [repentance, return] is the reason for…