Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Real New “New Beginning”

Although we do, in fact, complete the yearly Torah cycle on Simchat Torah, the real simcha, joy, is that we begin again.  The challenge, and real joy goes beyond simple, mindless “happiness”, is to make the new year’s cycle NEW, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Days of Chag in Galut

One of the deepest reasons we celebrate the first two days of Sukkot as Chag (a “full” holiday complete with special davening, Kiddush before meals, and also with accompanying restrictions) outside of Israel is because without the energy boost provided by … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Short Thoughts on Sukkot

Although there are lots of details, the simple idea behind the Sukkah, the funny little huts we build shortly after Yom Kippur and occupy for a week, is to direct and focus the שפע הקודש, Shefa HaKodesh, the holy, divine … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A Teacher’s Lament; A Teacher’s Joy

The only rabbinic function I’ve ever really performed is teaching Torah, primarily to adults.  I’ve never wanted to be a pulpit rabbi and I certainly have never wanted to work in any organizational bureaucracy.  I don’t deny that these positions … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Scraping Bottom In Order To Reach The Heights

The tendency to wallow in guilt as we enter Yom Kippur is counter-productive.  The other extreme of sugar-coating our sins, hoping that re-labeling of them as “shortcomings”, “mistakes” and “errors” will spare us the discomfort of not always feeling great … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“You Must Go On, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On,”

I just finished reading a beautiful article by Rabbi Aryeh Ben David which talks about the challenge to merely contain all the brokenness, not even (yet) to try to fix anything.  I was immediately reminded of the closing sentence in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment