A Bisl Torah


This week, we met with a new member of Congress. She is graciously reaching out to clergy members to check in on the Jewish community. We shared our fears as to how Hamas is striking terror across the world. Vowing to wipe Israel and the Jewish people off the global map. She listened to our horror and witnessed our grief.

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The Future is Watching

As a result of Adam and Eve eating fruit from the tree of knowledge, the Torah tells us that “the eyes of both of them were opened….” They were stripped of their blissful naïveté, aware of their nakedness and vulnerability.

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Gates Unlocked and Hearts Opened

While the sukkah, lulav and etrog are common images associated with Sukkot, unlocked gates are just as central of symbols. As we reach the final stretch of the Sukkot festival, the seventh day receives a special name: Hoshana Rabba. Translated as: the great salvation. Hoshana Rabba serves as a bookend to Yom Kippur. The gates of repentance, compassion, and mercy are considered unlocked until the end of this minor holiday.

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The Power of Shade

There are many Jewish laws involved in building a sukkah. There are regulations pertaining to a sukkah’s height and where a sukkah is located. Rules about the durability of the sukkah and rules about how we use its space.

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Walls of Water

There is a visceral reaction in seeing a sea of people against a sea of water. Like many of you, we engaged in the ritual of tashlich this week. The “casting out” of our mistakes into a body of water. Some used traditional bread, others cleaned the beach in a “reverse tashlich,” and we prayed as a community that it should be the start of a sweet new year. A year of introspection, intentional steps, and choosing life.

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