On Zealotry and the Pursuit of Peace

Headshot of Rabbi Adam Greenwald
by Rabbi Adam Greenwald
posted on July 25, 2019
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Our Torah portion this week recalls a man named Pinchas, the great-nephew of Moses, who engages in an act of vigilante violence. The Israelites are in the midst of a plague, brought down by God as penance for rampant acts of sexual immorality. Pinchas responds by capturing a couple in flagrante delicto, and executing them-- stabbing the pair of them through with his spear. Read more...

Pi’nehas Leadership

Photo of Rabbi Abe Friedman
by Rabbi Abe Friedman
posted on July 7, 2018
For the last ten or fifteen years of his life, it seemed like my father, Murray Friedman z”l, was constantly on a search committee. Each search demanded a lot of time, attention, and effort, but I understood why he kept saying “yes.” From his career in the corporate world to his service on the boards of Camp Ramah Darom, the Weber School, and other organizations, he had devoted his life to cultivating qualities of leadership in himself and others. Read more...

Give Me My Land

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on July 14, 2015
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Several years ago, our daughter, Hannah, spent the summer working at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California. She had two jobs that summer – most she worked in the office, but she also served as the “prayer coordinator” for the “Giborei Yisrael edah,” the group of campers going into 6th grade. Being on staff (as opposed to being a camper) means that one is allowed to have a cell phone at camp, and so she called home every so often to check in and let us know how she was doing. Mostly on these calls, she sounded tired – happy, but exhausted; camp is hard work. Read more...

The Broken Jar

Headshot of Rabbi Ilana Berenbaum Grinblat
by Rabbi Ilana Berenbaum Grinblat
posted on July 14, 2014
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
I recently read a book by P.J. Long, a mom who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she fell off a horse. In her book, Gifts from a Broken Jar, she recounts this story from India about a village boy who brought water to a wealthy man.   Read more...

Pinchas: The Power of Platitude?

Headshot of Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
by Rabbi Aryeh Cohen
posted on June 14, 2013
Torah Reading
Haftarah Reading
Clichés can be meaningful. When spoken between two people who have a wealth of emotion and history, at a bar mitzvah, a wedding, or a funeral, a well worn cliché can be the vehicle for conveying deep and heartfelt joy or sadness. At those moments a cliché is the vessel, honed over many years by a culture, with which to say the things that matter. The vessel itself is not the feeling-it only conveys a feeling. Read more...