Parshah Vayeshev: Brotherhood


Both as a concept and in practical application, sisterhood has been enthusiastically embraced by progressive Jewish movements. Official Sisterhoods can be found in Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues. Certain Orthodox shuls and learning centers have instituted their own women’s division. Rarely, however, do we hear of brotherhood. Sisterhood as encompassing the nurturing, emotionally intimate relationships […]

Parshah Vayishlach: The Exhilaration of Vengeance


Despite its lack of productive application in our world, the concept of vengeance can seem sweet, satisfying and even righteous. When a wrong of great egregiousness has been perpetrated against the innocent, our initial response may be an anger-fueled compulsion towards retaliation. We may entertain thoughts of inflicting harm or even abject violence. We may […]

Parshah Va’yetzei: Faith as an Ultimatum


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


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


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 […]