Category Archives: Writings

ki tavo: rethinking and forging our path toward personal growth.

During this very special time of the year, as we think about the book of life, we have the opportunity to rethink verses of our own narrative and portions of our own journeys. Without aiming to erase what is harmful to us, we aspire to recognize its presence in our emotional archive so we can rethink, deemphasize and reemphasize our narratives. 

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Ki titzeh:The Day Torah Became a Horror Tale

In 1845 Heinrich Hoffman wrote the famous —Struwwelpeter, or in its English version “Shockheaded Peter”.  The book tells several stories, presenting pretty horrifying consequences of children’s misbehavior. It has a very clear methodology and goal, scaring children for the sake of preventing misbehavior.  Even when written thousands of years earlier, this week’s Sidrah is Torah’s version of Shockheaded Peter. We

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What would it take for us to stop what we are doing? : Parashat eikev #Mentalhealthmatters

What would it take for us to stop what we are doing? Eikev, the name of this Sidra means: since or because, but it also means heel, the part of our bodies that connects us to earth, the component upon which everything else stands. Tonight, originally, I wanted to talk about foundational – core values as a general concept. However

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V’etchanan: listen and then love

Often our education and our conversations tend to eradicate complexities, as an attempt to avoid discomfort within our communal households. When this applies to our Israel education, a common outcome of the approach is the creation of an “in love” state of mind toward the state of Israel. Now, being in love is a great feeling but is not enough for a lasting relationship, and very often the next step to that status is disappointment, frustration and break-up.
So how do we move from the “in-love” status into a loving relationship?
“Love comes from listening. Love is born in an awareness that eradicates obliviousness and indifference”.

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Mixed Feelings Aside, We Pray: Black Lives Matter / My Take on Beha’alotecha

While I don’t think I know a Jew who isn’t opposed to racism and who doesn’t feel a deep connection and moral obligation toward the injustice that African Americans experience, many of us feel deeply conflicted with the movement “Black Lives Matter”. Many of us, myself included, felt deeply hurt by the statements in the political platform of this movement against Israel. There is an article that was published in The Atlantic in 2016 that summarizes several of the responses that the Jewish community then offered. During the last couple of weeks in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder many Rabbis and thinkers have written about their position regarding how to navigate this tension.

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Between (Biblical) Egypt and (Today’s) Australia: Stubbornness and narrow-mindedness / Discover Who Pharaoh Really is! #Va’era

This week I watched the news coming from Australia: golf-ball-size hail and massive dust storms hitting rural and urban areas alike. It’s been a rough couple of weeks weather-wise. Now it’s hail and dust but Australia isn’t done yet with the terrible fires that have lashed its territory, killing more than 30 people, tens of thousands of animals, and destroying

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Shemot: The Secret Power of the Biblical Women Who Beat Milgram’s experiment

  When we look retrospectively at the book of Genesis, which we just finished reading a week ago, there are two key concepts that keep coming to my mind. The first one is ethical monotheism, which appears at first by the statement that man and woman were created in the image of God, and of course is deepened in the

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Your Head Above the Water is good but not nearly enough

Ki Tetzeh (Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19) is the Torah portion with the highest amount of Mitzvot in the entire Torah: 74 Mitzvot. Maimonides explains that the function of the Mitzvot is to help us sharpen our humanity, or in other words, to bring more “human” to our beings. I want to start by exploring the first 3 Mitzvot in this Torah portion.

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