Yom Kippur 5781-2020

“The Thrill of Coming Home”
(updated and revised from Yom Kippur 5761-2000)

The month of Elul and the early days of Tishrei between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are universally regarded as propitious times for repentance and return. As G-d draws closer to us during this period, we need to draw closer to Him.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Yom Kippur 5780-2019

“How does G-d Judge?”
(Updated and revised from Yom Kippur 5760-1999

We mortals need to be constantly aware that what may seem in our eyes as a trivial or insignificant transgression, may appear in G-d’s eyes as a very serious breach or violation. That’s the challenge of Teshuva.

Read More


0 Comments11 Minutes

Kee Tavo 5779-2019

“Welcoming the Stranger”
(Revised and updated from Kee Tavo 5760-2000)

May a non-Jew who converts to Judaism say the prayer formula stating that G-d has promised “our fathers” to give us the land and the fruits thereof? We are taught that Abraham is the father of not only biological Jews, but of all righteous proselytes. We therefore must welcome the גֵר--ger, the stranger, with abundant love, for we were all once strangers.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Yom Kippur 5778-2017

“Forgiveness Before Sin”

The Midrashic tradition records a dispute regarding Yom Kippur. Was Yom Kippur established to help the People of Israel gain atonement for the sin of The Golden Calf, or was it given by G-d even before that grievous sin?

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Vayigash 5777-2017

“No ‘Man’ was with Joseph”

Why does Scripture emphasize twice that no man (“Ish”)stood with Joseph when he revealed himself to his brothers?

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Nitzavim-Rosh Hashana 5775/5776-2015

“Standing Firmly Before G-d and Man”

Parashat Nitzavim conveys a very powerful message of mutual responsibility that should resonate with all Jews, especially during the fateful period of the High Holy Days.

Read More


0 Comments10 Minutes

Tazria-Metzorah-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5775-2015

“Finding the Silver Lining”

The ancient biblical affliction--Tzaraat, seems to convey the message that affliction and disease can at times be redemptive.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Kee Tavo 5774-2014

“Finding Respite”

After the horrors of the Holocaust were made public, many Jews were under the impression that with the establishment of the State of Israel, its miraculous rebirth and development, the perfidious scourge of anti-Semitism would somehow abate and eventually vanish. For a while there was, what seemed to be, a universal sensitivity. But, only sixty years later, that sensitivity has vanished, and there is now a virulent outbreak of anti-Semitism in countless countries throughout the world, even on the streets of New York and Los Angeles.

Read More


0 Comments6 Minutes

Metzorah 5774-2014

“The Peddler and Evil Speech”

A well known Midrash tells of an encounter between the Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Yannai, and a peddler who taught the sage much about the importance of proper speech and the serious transgression of wanton, hurtful speech.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Kee Tisah 5773-2013

“The Vengeful G-d--Revisited”

The last of the 13 Attributes of G-d’s mercy is that G-d will not completely cleanse sinners. Is the G-d of the Hebrew Bible a “vengeful G-d”?

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes

Nitzavim-Rosh Hashana 5773-2012

“The Return to G-d”

Our rabbis declare that in the place where the penitents stand, even the most righteous cannot stand. Why should G-d feel closer to the penitent than to one who has never sinned?

Read More


0 Comments8 Minutes

Yom Kippur 5772-2011

"The Magic of the Day of Atonement"

Yom Kippur, the most awesome day in the Jewish calendar, is also the most magical. Despite our trespasses, G-d guarantees His children forgiveness and redemption.

Read More


0 Comments7 Minutes

Kee Tisah 5771-2011

"The Thirteen Attributes of G-d’s Mercy"

After the sin of the Golden Calf, G-d forgives the people and pronounces what are known as the “13 Attributes of G-d’s Mercy.” These “13 Attributes” are considered the most exalted prayer that a Jew may utter when beseeching G-d for mercy. It is important to know the intended meanings of these fateful words.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes