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Shavuot falls on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan and is observed on the sixth and seventh days in the Diaspora. In our liturgy we refer to it as z’man matan torateinu (the … more
I wish more people knew about Lag B’Omer here in the exile. In Israel, more than 150,000 people camp out on Mount Meron for an all-night Lag B’Omer … more
My high school students and I were having a vigorous conversation about ways that we can help people here in Rhode Island who wake up every day facing hunger, poverty or homelessness. This led us to … more
My parents, and grandparents, of blessed memory, taught me well. They handed down lessons from their parents and grandparents and beyond. Among my favorite lessons: “You want to keep a friend? … more
Most people, it seems, are quite familiar with one the Torah’s basic explanations for the obligation to eat matzah, unleavened bread made from one of five species of grain (wheat, barley, … more
A group from Temple Beth-El, in Providence, traveled to Cuba on Feb. 10 laden with donations for our Jewish brethren, filled with enthusiasm and the spirit of tikkun olam (repairing the world). Even as we delivered our bags filled with … more
This week’s Torah parashah, Vayakhel, Exodus 35:1–38:20, begins with Moses addressing the Israelites. Nu? That is not unusual as the words from God directing Moshe to “tell the Children of Israel” this, and that, come quite frequently. … more
In this week’s Parashat Tetzaveh, we read about the special garments worn by the Kohanim (Priests) when serving in the Tabernacle. It is clear that these vestments were designed to make their wearers feel special, … more
Just a week ago, I heard a TV news commentator discussing one of the presidential contenders’ positions on a particular subject. He described the hardline posture as “Old Testament” strictness, as opposed to “New Testament” forbearance, … more
In the dead of winter, the full moon of Shevat rises and whispers the promise of Spring. It is called “Rosh Hashanah of the Tree,” because it marks the very beginning of the fruit growing process. Beneath rough lifeless bark, there is a hidden … more
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