Shabbat-Hukkat-Balak – "Who Tells Your Story?"

Headshot of Gail Labovitz
by Rabbi Gail Labovitz, PhD
posted on July 4, 2020
It’s the repeated theme of the musical “Hamilton”: Who lives, who dies, who tells your story? As Lin Manuel Miranda writes in his notes to the libretto of the show (in “Hamilton, the Revolution” which Miranda wrote with Jeremy McCarter), “Once I wrote this passage, I knew it would be the key to the whole musical... It’s the fundamental truth all our characters (and all of us) share.” Read more...

The Path of Wisdom

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by Rabbi Sam Rotenberg
posted on June 24, 2020
“If one found their father’s and their teacher’s lost property, their teacher’s lost object takes priority, for their father brought them into this world, but their teacher who taught them wisdom brings them into the world to come. If one’s father is wise, one’s father’s lost object takes priority…”  -From Mishna Baba Metzia, 2:11  Read more...

Remembering for a Purpose

Headshot of Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
by Rabbi Cheryl Peretz
posted on May 22, 2020
The year was 1868. General John Logan issued General Order No. 11 calling for a national day of remembrance for Civil War dead. May 30 of that year was the day designated for this observance.  Flowers were placed on the graves of the fallen soldiers of both the Union and Confederate Armies. From this, Memorial Day was eventually instituted as a national day of observance. Read more...

Enough Regard One for Another Lag B’Omer and the Plague

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by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
posted on May 19, 2020
Lag B’Omer has a special meaning this year. Lag B’Omer is the thirty third day of the Omer, that period of seven full weeks from the second night of Passover to Shavuot, literally the festival of weeks, the Bikurim Festival, when the first fruits were brought to the Temple in Jerusalem and the festival on which Jews commemorate the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Read more...