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Reflections on Being a Grandmother

    Maybe if I put it down on paper and can see it in black and white, it will become more real to me. On Tuesday, November 4th, at 4:35 P.M., my daughter Avigayil gave birth to a baby boy…my grandson. I am a grandmother! It was a very emotional day. My mother had […]

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Reflections on Charity

I was in the den, involved in a good book when I saw my daughter Ahuva walking into the kitchen and pouring a drink. When I heard the clanging of coins being rustled around in our loose change container, I knew that someone was at the door, asking for charity. Our kids know that, first […]

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People in My Neighborhood: Meet Albert

November 2011 I went to our neighborhood’s Li’V’Lach store yesterday to buy chalk for my grandson’s new blackboard. A handful of people were standing around the locked door, waiting for Albert to arrive and open for business. It was 20 minutes past opening time but nobody seemed annoyed. It’s very hard to be annoyed with […]

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People in My Neighborhood: Chaim and Dina

December 2011 I spoke to Dina the other day. She was having a hard time dealing with the recent anniversary of her daughter’s death. She told me that before the actual day, things are always busy with planning the yearly memorial service, so emotions are held in check. But afterwards, she finds herself left to […]

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Reflections on Sukkot

October 2011 I found myself daydreaming last night while washing the dishes from dinner. My sink looks out onto our porch where our Feast of Tabernacle booth, our Sukka, stands, slightly darkening the kitchen. The Feast of Tabernacles is one of my favorite Jewish holidays. Maybe because it comes on the heels of the High […]

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Reflections on The Pesach (Passover) Service

March 2010   In just two weeks, Jews from all over the world will be sitting down to the Pesach Seder, the festive meal that opens the Passover holiday. It is a culmination of weeks of preparation and anticipation. Everyone—young and old, religiously observant and secular—sits down at their holiday table, whether at a communal […]

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Tezave (You Shall Command) – Exodus 27:20 – 30:10

This week’s portion begins with the end of Exodus chapter 27 and includes the instructions for Aaron and their priests in their worship roles — their clothes, the sanctification process they will go through, and some instruction regarding the altar, the incense altar and the “tent of meeting.” It is the instruction with regard to this “tent” that I would like to focus on this week.

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Trumah (Offering) – Exodus 25:1 – 27:19

G-d does not need our worship. He does not need for us to build Him a house. G-d wants us to build that house so that it can be an effective tool for us to come close to G-d. May we never lose our ability to distinguish between the medium and the ultimate goal, between the vehicles of our faith and faith itself.

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Mishpatim (Laws) – Exodus 21:1 – 24:18

This week’s portion begins with Chapter 21 of the Book of Exodus. It is a portion full of laws, pertaining primarily to the ethical standards of behavior that a Jew must follow, but which actually form the basis of so much of what has become known as Judeo-Christian law and ethics.

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Yitro (Jethro) – Exodus 18:1 – 20:23

This week’s portion begins with Jethro’s historic visit to the Children of Israel in the desert. The story begins in Exodus Chapter 18: “And Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’s father-in-law, heard of all that G-d did to Moses and to his nation Israel, that He brought Israel out of Egypt.”

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