Parshah Va’yetzei: Faith as an Ultimatum

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Fueled by nothing more than Twizzlers, black coffee, and grooves cranked to blasting, I drove through the day and deep into the night. From Arizona to Pennsylvania and back again, I stopped only for gas and more coffee, driving on until exhaustion overcame me and fatigue forced me off the road. My Tanakh rode shotgun, […]

A Dvar Torah For Thanksgiving

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My favorite episode of King of the Hill is the Thanksgiving episode, where Bobby renounces the holiday in solidarity with John Red Corn, who teaches Bobby about the atrocities that happened to the indigenous people of the United States. Growing up is a terrible thing, because the nostalgia of your childhood gets replaced by the […]

Parshah Toldot: Hunger

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Hunger is a ferocious saboteur. Physical or emotional, hunger can push us to abandon our goals, crack our moral compasses, and lose sight of what truly matters. Our tradition posits two hungry forces within us, sometimes in conflict and intended to work together. The yetzer hara is our drive towards comfort, pleasure, and security, while […]

Parsha Chayei Sarah: Choices Made (Gen 23:1 – 25:18)

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O.K. I’m going to keep this week’s Dvar short and sweet. Abraham and Sarah’s time comes to an end while the next generation gets its start with the marriage of Isaac and Rebecca. At the beginning of this week’s portion Sarah departs this world for the world to come and a distraught Abraham purchases a […]

Pillar of Salt (Parshah Vayera)

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Recently, I was asked if I believe the people populating our Torah actually existed somewhere in primordial Jewish history. My honest response was that it doesn’t matter to me. It is not historical fact I seek from our sacred texts, rather I search constantly for moral clarity and current relevance. For this reason, I appreciate […]