And Reason Shall Not Prevail

Photograph of Yehuda Hausman
by Rabbi Yehuda Hausman
posted on July 14, 2015
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
“In all things, reason should prevail,” wrote William Penn. Yet in quite a few things, we have lost reason altogether. In this week’s portion, Balak, the pagan king of the Moabites, is desperately trying to protect his commonwealth. Israel has just routed Moab’s neighbors - the Bashonites and Amorites - and Balak knows that his nation may very well be next.  So he engages the services of a non-Israelite prophet, Balaam, whose task is to get the God of Israel to curse the Jewish people.  Read more...

Awake While Asleep? Asleep While Awake?

Photograph of Reb Mimi Feigelson
by Reb Mimi Feigelson
posted on July 14, 2014
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
It took almost a decade until Professor Moshe Idel helped me retrieve my dignity and relationship with Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, 1040-1105). I flunked Rashi in third grade - I received a "C" - I couldn't read Rashi script to save my life. The shame sat with me for years. I thought I had overcome being "Rashi-challenged" until my first exam on Rashi in tenth grade. Our Torah teacher listed 10 verses of the Chumash that we had not learned yet in class, and asked us to answer "What was Rashi's question? What was his problem?" It seemed simple - ten verses, ten questions. Read more...

Speaking God's Words

Headshot of Rabbi Aaron Alexander
by Rabbi Aaron Alexander
posted on June 22, 2013
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
As the recent and troubling news about the IRS and NSA continue to unfold and become considerably more complicated, one aspect of our modern society continuously emerges. When it comes to any perceived (or real) infringement of our self interests: attack first and gather information later. Read more...

From Father to Son

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on June 15, 2013
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Sitting in the hospital, the man I am there to visit says to me: "Rabbi, I have reached the end of my options, and I am going to die. I am coming to terms with it and now, I only need to live long enough to see my son graduate from School." Over the years as a rabbi, some version of this scene has played itself out numerous times - a person knows s/he is dying and in the process of coming to terms only wants to live long enough to witness one last important moment in the life of one of their children or grandchildren. Read more...